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NO. J3o 





m. THE CHURCH 109 



Ruins of Montgomery Castle frontispiece 

Title-Page of Ferrar's First Edition page 12 
Hall of Westminster School 68 

Title-Page of Bodleian Manuscript 108 


I jORT)^ my first fruits present themselves to thee. 
Yet not mine neither : for from thee they came 
And must return. Accept of them and me. 
And make us strive who shall sing best thy name. 

Turn their eyes hither who shall make a gain. 

Theirs who shall hurt themselves or me, refrain. 


THE dedication of this work having been made 
by the Authour to the Divine Majestie onely, 
how should we now presume to interest any mortall 
man in the patronage of it ? Much lesse think we 
it meet to seek the recommendation of the Muses 
for that which himself was confident to have been 
inspired by a diviner breath then flows from Heli- 
con. The world therefore shall receive it in that 
naked simplicitie with which he left it, without 
any addition either of support or ornament more 
then is included in it self. We leave it free and 
unforestalled to every man's judgement, and to 
the benefit that he shall finde by perusall. Onely 
for the clearing of some passages, we have thought 
it not unfit to make the common Reader privie to 
some few particularities of the condition and dispo- 
sition of the Person. 

Being nobly bom, and as eminently endued with 
gifts of the minde, and having by industrie and 
happy education perfected them to that great 
height of excellencie whereof his fellowship of 
Trinitie Colledge in Cambridge and his Orator- 
ship in the Universitie, together with that know- 
1 The work of Nicholas Ferrar. 


ledge which the King's Court had taken of him, 
could make relation farre above ordinarie; quit- 
ting both his deserts and all the opportunities that 
he had for worldly preferment, he betook himself 
to the Sanctuarie and Temple of God, choosing 
rather to serve at God's Altar then to seek the 
honour of State-employments. As for those inward 
enforcements to this course (for outward there was 
none) which many of these ensuing verses bear 
witness of, they detract not from the freedome, but 
adde to the honour of this resolution in him. As 
God had enabled him, so he accounted him meet 
not onely to be called, but to be compelled to this 
service. Wherein his faithful discharge was such 
as may make him justly a companion to the primi- 
tive Saints, and a pattern or more for the age he 
lived in. 

To testifie his independencie upon all others, 
and to quicken his diligence in this kinde, he used 
in his ordinarie speech, when he made mention of 
the blessed name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus 
Christ, to adde, My Master. 

Next God, he loved that which God himself 
hath magnified above all things, that is, his Word : 
so as he hath been heard to make solemn protesta- 
tion that he would not part with one leaf thereof 
for the whole world, if it were offered him in ex- 

His obedience and conformitie to the Church 


and the discipline thereof was singularly remark- 
able. Though he abounded in private devotions, 
yet went he every morning and evening with his 
famihe to the Church; and by his example, ex- 
hortations, and encouragements drew the greater 
part of his parishioners to accompanie him dayly 
in the publick celebration of Divine Service. 

As for worldly matters, his love and esteem to 
them was so little as no man can more ambitiously 
seek then he did earnestly endeavour the resigna- 
tion of an Ecclesiasticall dignitie, which he was 
possessour of. But God permitted not the accom- 
plishment of this desire, having ordained him his 
instrument for re-edifying of the Church belonging 
thereunto, that had layen ruinated almost twenty 
yeares. The reparation whereof, having been un- 
effectually attempted by publick collections, was 
in the end by his own and some few others' private 
free-will-offerings successfully effected. With the 
remembrance whereof, as of an especiall good 
work, when a friend went about to comfort him on 
his deathbed, he made answer. It is a good work, 
if it he sprinkled with the blovd of Christ. Other- 
wise then in this respect he could finde nothing 
to glorie or comfort himself with, neither in this 
nor in any other thing. 

And these are but a few of many that might be 
said, which we have chosen to premise as a glance 
to some parts of the ensuing book and for an 


example to the Reader. We conclude all with his 
own Motto, with which he used to conclude all 
things that might seem to tend any way to his own 
honour : 

Lesse then the least of God's mercies. 




THE Church-Porch bears much the same re- 
lation to Herbert's other poetry as the Jewish 
Wisdom books — Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Ecclesi- 
asticus, and Wisdom — bear to the Psalms and the 
Prophets. There is little reHgion in it, but shrewd 
knowledge of men, manners, and methods of win- 
ning eminence. It is a collection of wise saws and 
modem instances which speak of precedents and 
the best social usage. It is written by the friend of 
Bacon, by the university courtier, the collector of 
proverbs, the lover of a pregnant phrase. Its saga- 
city of thought and expression, though strongly 
marked by the temper of its time, has, Hke the 
Wisdom of the Jews, held well the esteem of after 
ages. Probably few parts of Herbert are less out- 

Its theme determines its position. Propriety, 
beauty, good judgment, familiarity with the best 
customs, always of high importance in Herbert's 
eyes, are here set forth as the suitable introduction 
to religion, which itself lies beyond. This is the sig- 
nificance of the title, The Church-Porch. Good 
breeding opens the door of the Temple. Attention 
to the refinements of Hfe teaches the youth how to 
behave himself in church. The results of Herbert's 


secular experience, which he always professed was 
to prepare him for the priesthood, are here offered 
to the young reader as his best preparation for the 
spiritual fervors which follow. Purified of coarser 
faults by good taste, he may become accessible to 
the delicacies of divine love. 

To this work of purification the enigmatic word 
refers which follows the title. Perirrhanterium is 
the Greek term for a sprinkling instrument. At 
the entrance of the church stands a basin of holy 
water, placed there to remind the intending wor- 
shipper of his need of cleansing (Numbers viii, 7, 
and Hebrews x, 22). According to the warning in 
SuPERLiMiNARE, III, 119, 1. 2, he is fit to enter the 
temple itself only after being properly sprinkled 
at the entrance. 

The style of The Church-Porch, no less than 
the spiritual conditions displayed in it, connects it 
with Herbert's earlier life. It contains no state- 
ment that its author is a priest, though he is deeply 
interested in the priest's work and office. As it is 
included in the Williams Manuscript, it must have 
been written before 1630. But how greatly its 
author valued it, and how steadily he labored on 
its improvement, may be read in the multitude of 
changes, great and slight, which were introduced 
during the Bemerton years. Few of Herbert's 
poems show so large a difference between their 
earlier and their later forms. 

The processes of alteration in The Church- 


Porch which went on during the last half-dozen 
years of Herbert's Ufe are instructive as regards the 
original methods of its composition. Probably 
written piecemeal and not produced during any sin- 
gle year, it possesses little organic unity. Its many 
themes might be increased, diminished, or trans- 
posed without injury to the plan. Why should a 
single stanza on lying stand between considerable 
discussions of swearing and of idleness? Why 
should the precepts on eating be parted from those 
on drinking ? Or stanzas so similar as the eleventh 
and fortieth be widely removed ? Or a single stanza 
on conversation be introduced between gambUng 
and self-restraint, while the general discussion of 
the subject follows fourteen stanzas later ? Many 
such incongruities occur, a fact the more noticeable 
and the more likely to be connected with temporal 
causes because Herbert's artistic sense when exer- 
cised on a small scale usually secures great firmness 
of form. That The Church-Porch, however, 
does not altogether lack plan is remarked by G. 
Ryley, who quaintly writes: 

"With his Perirrhanterium Herbert takes care 
to sprinkle handfuls of advice to them that will 
go to church. These he throws out under four 

(1) Ethics or personal duties, 1. 1-150. 

(2) (Economics or family duties, 1. 151-204. 

(3) Politics or Sociable Maxims, 1. 205-384. 

(4) Lastly he comes to scatter a handful or 


two of Ecclesiastics or Church Duties, 1. 385- 
end." 1 

The piece begins with the ruder sins and ad- 
vances to the niceties of worship, the instructions 
about pubHc worship being more coherent than any 
other part of the poem. These may have been 
written last, when Herbert's long interest in the 
priesthood was approaching a decision. In short, 
the style and texture of the poem indicate that it 
was begun early, that it grew by accretion rather 
than construction, and that it never in its author's 
mind was altogether finished. 

How early it was begun seems hinted in The 
Dedication. This solitary stanza stands to The 
Church-Porch in about the same relation as 
the Envoy to The Church Militant. While not 
exactly a part of the poem, the poem would be in- 
complete without it, and it would be fragmentary 
without The Church-Porch. It is written to in- 
troduce something. And while what it introduces 
includes more than The Church-Porch, it is with 

1 This and many subsequent quotations are taken from 
a manuscript of four hundred pages, written by a certain 
George Ryley in 1714 and now in the Bodleian Library. 
Of Ryley's history nothing is known. His volume forms an 
elaborate commentary on Herbert's poems, in which they 
are all passed in review and expounded with reference to 
their religious import. Ryley's aims and my own are so 
divergent that I have been able to quote him less often 
than I should like, especially as I obtained a copy of his 
manuscript only after my notes were practically complete. 


this that The Dedication primarily joins itself, 
being identical with it in sententious metre. Ac- 
cordingly, though in the Bodleian Manuscript it is 
printed on the title-page, in Ferrar's Edition and 
in the Williams Manuscript it stands on a leaf by 
itself just before The Church-Porch, which it 
serves as a kind of antecedent stanza. When this 
connection is once recognized, its mention of first 
fruits becomes significant. 

In 1613 Herbert contributed two Latin poems to 
the Cambridge Elegies on the death of Prince 
Henry, and in 1620 a Latin poem to the Elegies on 
Queen Anne. His Angli Musae Responsoriae, 
or reply to Melville, had long been in circulation. In 
1623 he printed his Latin Oration on the return 
from Spain of Prince Charles and Buckingham. 
Would the phrase -first fruits naturally have been 
used after so many publications ? In my third 
Essay I explained how in 1610 Herbert announced 
a resolution to consecrate all his abilities in poetry 
to God's glory. Between this date and 1613 I think 
The Dedication was most probably drawn up, 
the metre of The Church-Porch selected, and the 
poem itself at least begun. The large amount of 
secular matter, the borrowed and regular measure, 
and the hortatory style — peculiarities absent from 
Herbert's other work — suggest an early date. 

A comparison of The Church-Porch with Her- 
bert's other long poems. The Church Militant 
and The Sacrifice, throws light on the character 


of each and fixes the place of each in the collection. 
The Church Militant, in both manuscripts and 
in Ferrar's original edition, stands at the close, ap- 
pearing there almost as an independent work. The 
preceding poems are separated from it by the word 
Finis and a Gloria. In order not to break the con- 
tinuity of the lyric verse, I retain this late position 
of The Church Militant, though I believe it to 
be one of the very earliest of Herbert's poems. Sub- 
stantially also I keep the positions of the other two 
unchanged ; for dissimilar as is The Sacrifice 
from everjrthing else Herbert wrote, it is not, like 
The Church Militant, a detachable piece. In 
its elaborate display of the forthgoing love of God 
and the averseness of man, it is plainly intended 
as the natural presupposition and starting-point 
of all the subsequent verse. I respect this inten- 
tion and keep its priority unchanged. To devise 
another position for The Church-Porch is obvi- 
ously impossible. 

It may not be fanciful, however, to find the dis- 
tinctive character of these three poems in their per- 
sonal pronouns. Each has one peculiar to itself. 
That of The Church Militant is the third, he or 
it; for this poem alone is descriptive and historical. 
The pronoun of The Sacrifice is 7, a word which 
gives color to nearly all of Herbert's verse, but has 
here a unique employment. It is used as the pro- 
noun of a monologue, of Herbert's single attempt 
at sustained dramatic speech. The pronoun of 


The Church-Porch is announced in its first word, 
ThoUy this being the only occasion on which Her- 
bert attempts a piece of instruction. Charms and 
EInots and Constancie are similar in substance, 
but the form of direct address is not employed. 
Thou appears not infrequently in Herbert's other 
poems. But elsewhere it marks the address of the 
writer to himself or to God. It is a part of that 
inner communion so characteristic of The Tem- 
ple, an appeal to the worser self by the better, 
and not, as in the case of The Church-Porch, 
an exhortation addressed to some one stand- 
ing by. 

The metre of The Church-Porch is the same as 
that used in Sinnes Round, V, 143, and, with a 
pecuhar adaptation of the final fine, in The Water- 
course, V, 147. The metre was a favorite one 
in Herbert's time. It had already been employed 
by Sidney in some of the songs of his Arcadia; 
by Spenser in Astrophel, The Ruines of Time, and 
in two sections of The Shepherd's Calendar ; by 
Shakespeare in Venus and Adonis; and more fre- 
quently than any other metre by Southwell. It 
appears also in Breton, Lord Brooke, Campion, 
Donne, Drummond, Lord Herbert, Overbury, 
Quarles, and Wither. It generally serves these 
writers as a metre of instruction. A stanza from 
Southwell's Preparative to Prayer (1595) might 
easily be mistaken for one from The Church- 
Porch : 


" When thou dost talk with God (by prayer I meane) 
Lift up pure hands, lay down all Lust's desires, 
Fix thoughts on heaven, present a conscience cleane ; 
Such holy balme to mercie's throne aspires. 

Confesse faults' guilt, crave pardon for thy sinne, 
Tread holy paths, call grace to guide therein." 

The Church-Porch has been imitated in the 
same metre by Vaughan in his Rules and Lessons ; 
by Christopher Harvey in his Church Yard, Gate, 
Walls, and Porch; and vras translated into Latin 
by William Dillingham in 1678. 

At St. John's School, Hurstpierpoint, England, 
the statutes direct that every boy shall learn The 
Church-Porch by heart. Accordingly, in 1867 
the Head-Master, E. C. Lowe, D. D., edited a 
convenient edition vrith explanatory notes. Many 
of these notes I have adopted and acknowledged. 

The topics of The Church-Porch and the order 
of their discussion appear in the following list : 

I. Address to the young Reader, 
ii-iv. Chastity, 
v-ix. Temperance, 
x-xii. Oaths, 
xni. Lying, 
xiv-xvi. Indolence, 
xvn-xix. Education, 
xx-xxi. Constancy, 
xxii-xxiii. Gluttony, 
xxiv-xxv. Self-discipline. 


xxvi-xxx. The use of money. 
xxxi-xxxii. Dress. 

xxxiii-xxxiv. Gaming. 
XXXV. Conversation. 
xxxvi-xxxviii. Command of temper. 
xxxix-XLii. Mirth. 
XLiii-XLV. Behavior to the great. 
XLVi. Friendship. 
XLVii-XLViii. Suretyship. 
XLix-LV. Social intercourse. 
LVi-LViii. Magnanimity. 
Lix-LXi. Indebtedness to others. 
LXii. Personal nicety. 
Lxiii-Lxv. Almsgiving. 
Lxvi-Lxxi. PubHc prayer. 
Lxxii-Lxxv. Preaching. 
Lxxvi. Review of the day. 
Lxxvii. Conclusion. 

King James, instructing his son in Basilikon 
Doron, Bk. Ill (1599), follows the order of food, 
drink, sleep, clothes, language, games, gambling, 
companions, passions, magnanimity. Other books 
on education which Herbert probably knew are 
Castiglione's Courtier in Hoby's translation (1561), 
Ascham's Scholemaster (1570), Peacham's Com- 
pleat Gentleman (1622), and Brathwaite's Eng- 
hsh Gentleman (1630). 


^2^1 THE 

^^' TEMPLE. 



Hggj^l ■ — ^ 



^j_ J !;>; /^/> Temple ddh every 
i^l^j mmjpenkoffnshomur. 






Printed \yj7bo'm^§ucky 

and ii*ecf 'Dmiel, pVinrcrs 

to me llnivcrnric. 




Notes : 
4. Sidney in his Defence of Poesie says that the poets 
" delight to move men to take that goodness in hand 
which, without dehght, they would fly." Arch- 
bishop Leighton quotes from Gregory Nazianzen, 


Ik fxeXoiv TpoTTovs. 

6. iSam^ce= something consecrated. 

7. " He very properly places lust in the front of all the 
rest that he cautions against, following the exam- 
ple of St. James (i, 15), who makes it the mother of 
all. 'When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth 
death:'" G. Ryley. 

12. Matthew v, 8. 




Thou whose sweet youth and early hopes inhance 
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure. 

Hearken unto a Verser, who may chance 

Ryme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure. 

A verse may finde him who a sermon flies, 5 

And turn delight into a sacrifice. 


Beware of lust : it doth pollute and foul 

Whom God in Baptisme washt with his own 
It blots thy lesson written in thy soul; 

The holy lines cannot be understood. 10 

How dare those eyes upon a Bible look, 
Much lesse towards God, whose lust is all their 
book ? 


13. In the second edition of 1633 the reading Wholly 
abstain appeared, and has since been generally 
used; but the Bodleian Manuscript has the read- 
ing of the text. 

18. Rottennesse. Proverbs xii, 4. 

21. 7mpaZ'(i= hedged us in. The law of marriage is 
grounded in both God's demand and man's need. 

24. In order to be perverse. Cf. 1. 395 and The Sin- 
ner, IV, 91, 1. 7. For the thought, Giddinesse, 
V, 131, 1.17. 

25. Sir WiUiam Temple (1628-1699) writes, in his 
Essay upon Health and Long Life : " The first 
Glass may pass for Health, the second for good 
Humour, the third for Friends ; but the fourth is 
for our Enemies." 

30. If I go on drinking, passing the bottle round. 



Abstain wholly, or wed. Thy bounteous Lord 
Allows thee choise of paths. Take no by-wayes, 

But gladly welcome what he doth afford; 15 

Not grudging that thy lust hath bounds and 

Continence hath his joy. Weigh both; and so 

If rottennesse have more, let Heaven go. 



If God had laid all common, certainly 

Man would have been th' incloser ; but since 
God hath impaFd us, on the contrarie 21 

Man breaks the fence and every ground will 
O what were man might he himself misplace! 
Sure, to be crosse, he would shift feet and face. 

Drink not the third glasse, which thou canst not 
tame 25 

When once it is within thee; but before, 
Mayst rule it as thou list and poure the shame, 

Which it would poure on thee, upon the floore. 
It is most just to throw that on the ground 29 

Which would throw me there, if I keep the round. 


33. "The sin of drunkenness is the root of all sin:" 
King James' Counterblast Against Tobacco. 

36. He divests himself of every endowment except his 
animal nature. So Shakespeare, Othello, ii, 3 : " I 
have lost the immortal part of myself, and what 
remains is bestial." 

37. Wine-sprung = strained, cracked, or bent by wine. 

38. Cf. The Rose, IV, 185, 1. 3. 

39. His canne= the other man's cup. The word oc- 
curs again in Providence, V, 93, 1. 127. Shake- 
speare's men drink from cans: "I hate it as an 
unfilled can:" Twelfth Night, ii, 3. 

41. Thy hold of thy self. 
46. Becist, referring to 1. 36. 



He that is drunken may his mother kill, 

Bigge with his sister. He hath lost the reins, 

Is outlawd by himself. All kinde of ill 

Did with his hquour shde into his veins. 34 

The drunkard forfets Man, and doth devest 

All worldly right save what he hath by beast. 


Shall I, to please another's wine-sprung minde, 
Lose all mine own ? God hath giv'n me a 

Short of his canne, and bodie, Must I finde 39 
A pain in that wherein he findes a pleasure "^ 

Stay at the third glasse. If thou lose thy hold, 

Then thou art modest, and the wine grows bold. 


If reason move not Gallants, quit the room, 
(All in a ship wrack shift their severall way,) 

Let not a common ruine thee intombe. 45 

Be not a beast in courtesie. But stay. 

Stay at the third cup, or forego the place. 

Wine above all things doth God's stamp deface. 


50. Philippians iii, 19. 
53. Isaiah xlv, 9. 
55. Exodus XX, 7. 

60. Even if pleasure were my only law, I could dispense 
with swearing. 

63. Repeated in 1. 235. 

64. // there be any ill in the custome that may be sev- 
ered from the good, he fares the apple and gives 
them the clean to feed on: Country Parson, 

66, Stake=a post in the ground as a hold-fast. Pro- 
vidence, V, 93, 1. 123. A maim'd man turns his 
staff into a stake: Jacula Prudentum. " Hereby 
we forfeit the refuge we might otherwise make use 
of in our afflictions, when our help and hope is in 
the name of the Lord:" G. Ryley. 



Yet if thou sinne in wine or wantonnesse, 

Boast not thereof nor make thy shame thy glorie. 

Frailtie gets pardon by submissivenesse ; 51 

But he that boasts shuts that out of his storie. 

He makes flat warre with God, and doth defie 

With his poore clod of earth the spacious sky. 

Take not his name, who made thy mouth, in vain : 
It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse. 56 

Lust and wine plead a pleasure, avarice gain: 
But the cheap swearer through his open sluce 

Lets his soul runne for nought, as little fearing. 

Were I an Epicure, I could bate swearing. 60 


When thou dost tell another's jest, therein 
Omit the oathes, which true wit cannot need. 

Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sinne. 
He pares his apple that will cleanly feed. 

Play not away the vertue of that name 65 

Which is thy best stake when griefs make thee tame. 


67. Cheapest, cf. 1. 58. 

71. There is no need of seizing occasions so petty. Mat- 
thew vii, 13. 
76. Isaiah Ivii, 20. 

79. So King James* short poem, Time, 1. 39 : " Flee 
idleteth, which is the greatest lett." 

80. *' M {stressing is dawdling in day-long attendance 
and obsequience on a lady-love; but it must be 
remembered that a young unmarried yet mar- 
riageable lady was called 'Mistress,* not 'Miss* as 
now, and that mistressing here does not carry its 
deteriorated sense:" A. B. Grosart. The line is 
quoted from Donne's To Mr. Tilman After He 
Had Taken Orders, 1. 30: 

"Why doth the foolish world scorn that profession 
Whose joys pass speech ? Why do they think unfit 
That gentry should joyn families with it ? 
As if their day were only to be spent 
In dressing, mistressing, and compliment." 

In The Country Parson, XXXII, Herbert speaks 
of the unlawfulness of spending the day in dressing. 
Complementing, visiting and sporting. 
83. Wings= aEections. Do not employ in lazy gal 
lantry the endowments which should raise you to 
high station. 



The cheapest sinnes most dearely punisht are. 
Because to shun them also is so cheap; 

For we have wit to mark them, and to spare. 
O crumble not away thy soul's fair heap. 70 

If thou wilt die, the gates of hell are broad; 

Pride and full sinnes have made the way a road. 


Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God, 
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both. 

Cowards tell Hes, and those that fear the rod; 75 
The stormie working soul spits Ues and froth. 

Dare to be true. Nothing can need a ly. 

A fault which needs it most grows two thereby. 


FUe idlenesse; which yet thou canst not flie 
By dressing, mistressing, and complement. 80 

If those take up thy day, the sunne will crie 
Against thee; for his light was onely lent. 

God gave thy soul brave wings; put not those 

Into a bed, to sleep out all ill weathers. 


85. (Severe = strict, exact. Shakespeare's Justice too has 
"eyes severe:" As You Like It, ii. 7. Cf. Jacula 
Prudentiim: He cannot he virtuous that is not 

86. Herbert's idea of scholarship is not the discovery 
of fresh truth, but the preservation and readjust- 
ment of what is already known. 

91. The great and nationall sin of this Land he es- 
teems to he Idlenesse ; great in it selfe and great in 
Consequence : Country Parson, XXXII. 

93. EngHsh wool has always been famous. 

94. Thy storie=i}ie description of you; as in 1. 52, p. 21. 
96. Gone to grasse=gone to grazing (cf. 1. 93), as in 

Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI, iv, 2: "In Cheapside 
shall my palfrey go to grass." Grass is used in a 
somewhat similar sense in H. Communion, VI, 145, 
1. 38. The Hue would say. This sheephke people 
are devoted to their food, and to nothing else. 

98. His family is his hest care^ to lahour Christian 
soules and raise them to their height, even to heaven; 
to dresse and prune them, and take as much joy in 
a straight-growing childe or servant as a Gardiner 
doth in a choice tree: Country Parson, XXXII. 

99. M ark = aim. at, fix the sight upon. 

100. Send them abroad for the "grand tour," or as colo- 
nists to America. 

101. This ar^= education; cf. 1. 97. 



Art thou a Magistrate ? Then be severe. 85 

If studious, copie fair what time hath blurr'd; 

Redeem truth from his jawes. If souldier, 

Chase brave employments with a naked sword 

Throughout the world. Fool not: for all may 

If they dare try, a glorious Kfe or grave. 90 


O England! full of sinne, but most of sloth, 
Spit out thy flegme and fill thy brest with 

Thy Gentrie bleats, as if thy native cloth 
Transfus'd a sheepishnesse into thy storie. 

Not that they all are so; but that the most 95 

Are gone to grasse and in the pasture lost. 


This losse springs chiefly from our education. 

Some till their ground, but let weeds choke their 
Sonne ; 
Some mark a partridge, never their childe 's fashion ; 

Some ship them over, and the thing is done. 
Studie this art, make it thy great designe; 101 
And if God's image move thee not, let thine. 


106. The time of breeding is the time of doing children 
good : and not as many who think they have done 
fairly if they leave them a good portion after their 
decease: Herbert to his brother Henry, 1630. 

110. A little with quiet is the only diet. He is rich that 
wants nothing : Jacuia Prudentxjm. 

117. Stowre or stour, frequently used by Spenser and 
others as a substantive, meaning tumult, danger, 
conflict, seems here to mean stout, sturdy, firm, — 
the quality described at length in Constancie, 

V, 119. B. and W. read sowre, a reading which 
is defended by Dr. Grosart, who fails, however, to 
quote a passage in Herbert, or in any other writer, 
where sour indicates a desirable quality. Herbert 
always employs it in an offensive sense, as 1. 211, 
and Grieve Not, VI, 15, 1. 2. 

118. To thrall=io bondage, its regular meaning in 
Herbert, cf. 1. 286, and The Sacrifice, HI, 139, 
1. 167; though he also uses thraldome; e. g. Home, 

VI, 85, 1.21. 

120. Shelf = a, ledge, reef, or shelving coast. Cf. Mis- 
erie, rV, 53, 1. 77. WiUiam Browne in Britannia's 
Pastorals (1614), Bk. I, Song 1, speaks of "Him 
who is shipwrackt on love's hidden shelf e." The 
meaning is. What nature intended for swift ser- 
vice, he makes an engine of destruction. 



Some great estates provide, but doe not breed 
A mastering minde; so both are lost thereby. 

Or els they breed them tender, make them need 
All that they leave; this is flat povertie. 106 

For he that needs five thousand pound to live 

Is full as poore as he that needs but five. 


The way to make thy sonne rich is to fill 109 
His minde with rest before his trunk with riches. 

For wealth without contentment chmbes a hill 
To feel those tempests which fly over ditches. 

But if thy Sonne can make ten pound his measure, 

Then all thou addest may be call'd his treasure. 


When thou dost purpose ought, (within thy power,) 
Be sure to doe it, though it be but small. 116 

Constancie knits the bones and makes us stowre 
When wanton pleasures becken us to thrall. 

Who breaks his own bond forfeiteth himself. 

What nature made a ship he makes a shelf. 


123. Simpring. " Smiles of pretended friendship are in 
the layman the hypocrisy that pretended holiness is 
in the clerk:" E. C. Lowe. Cf. Affliction, IV, 
139, 1. 44, and The Search, V, 219, 1. 14. 

124. Where thread is wound into a ball, if the end or clue 
is pulled, the whole unwinds. So Shakespeare, 
All 's Well, i. 3: "You have wound a goodly clue." 
The meaning is, Any loose end of character en- 
dangers the whole. 

127. Whatsoever was the father of a disease, an ill diet 
was the mother. By suppers more have been hilled 
than Galen ever cured : Jacula Prudentum. For 
Herbert's Rules for Eating, see Country Parson, 

128. Sconse (Ger. schanz)= fence or protection. So 
Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors, ii. 2: "I must get 
a sconce for my head and insconce it too." 

,130. Two, i. e. the host whom he relieves, and the guest 
whom he serves. Cf. Swift's Epistle to a Lady: 

"We may carve for others thus; 
And let others carve for us: 
To discourse and to attend. 
Is to help yourseK and friend. 
Conversation is but carving; 
Carve for aU, yourself is starving. 
And that you may have your due, 
Let your neighbors carve for you." 



Doe all things like a man, not sneakingly. 121 
Think the king sees thee still; for his King 

Simpring is but a lay-hypocrisie : 

Give it a corner, and the clue undoes. 

Who fears to do ill, sets himself to task; 125 

Who fears to do well, sure should wear a mask. 


Look to thy mouth; diseases enter there. 

Thou hast two sconses if thy stomack caU: 
Carve, or discourse. Do not a famine fear. 129 

Who carves, is kind to two; who talks, to all. 
Look on meat, think it dirt, then eat a bit; 
And say withall. Earth to earth I commit. 


133. Sickly healths=*'hea\ihs** which are drunk, in- 
ducing sickness. 

135. Common-wealths, aiaYonie word at this time. King 
James in the preface to his Counterblast Against 
Tobacco says, "All sorts of people are more care- 
ful for their private ends than for their mother, the 
Conmionwealth . " 

137. Ecliptick =ihe apparent path of the sun, obhque 
with reference to the equator. Referred to again in 
OuK Life is Hid, IV, 79, 1. 4. 

140. " As soon as the tight hold of circumstances, which 
like frost keep a man from falhng away, is released, 
he drops to pieces under the influence of temptation, 
as in a thaw. We call a man who acts under no se\i- 
Tesivaintdissolute; that is, one who has melted away, 
as the opposite character is resolute:" E. C. Lowe. 
Cf. Mortification, IV, 57, 1. 26. 

142. " Under-writeSy i. e. subscribes to a law, which law 
each parcel or quahty of man is thus bound not to 
vary from or exceed: " A. B. Grosart. 

148. Cf. The Method, V, 197, 1. 10. 

149. Good fellows=hoon companions. Cf. Donne, Let- 
ter to Roland Woodward, 1. 28. 

"So works retiredness in us; to roam 
Giddily and be everywhere but at home, 
Such freedom doth a banishment become." 



Slight those who say amidst their sickly healths, 
Thou hv'st by rule. What doth not so but man ? 

Houses are built by rule, and common-wealths. 
Entice the trusty sunne, if that you can, 136 

From his EcHptick hne; becken the skie. 

Who lives by rule, then, keeps good companie. 


Who keeps no guard upon himself is slack. 
And rots to nothing at the next great thaw. 

Man is a shop of rules, a well truss'd pack, 141 
Whose every parcell under-writes a law. 

Lose not thy self, nor give thy humours way; 

God gave them to thee under lock and key. 


By all means use sometimes to be alone. 145 

Salute thy self, see what thy soul doth wear. 
Dare to look in thy chest, for 't is thine own. 
And tumble up and down what thou find'st 
Who cannot rest till hee good fellows finde. 
He breaks up house, turns out of doores his 
minde. 150 


152. "Riches are for spending; spending for honour 
and good actions:" Bacon, Essay XXVHI. In 
spending lies the advantage: Jacula Prudentum. 

153. Semper = one whose mind is on petty savings. Cf. 
1. 173. In brief, a poor man is an occasion , my coun- 
trey is an occasion, my friend is an occasion, my Table 
is an occasion, my apparell is an occasion ; if in all 
these I either do nothing, or pinch, and scrape, and 
squeeze blood undecently to the station wherein God 
hath placed me, I am Covetous: Country Parson, 

156. Contemptible, accented on the first syllable. 
162. Thy last journey. 

166. These dangerous contracts between a magician and 
a devil may have been suggested to Herbert by 
Marlowe's History of Dr. Faustus, printed in 1604. 

167. Cf. Charms and Knots, IV, 7, 1. 5. 



Be thriftie, but not covetous; therefore give 
Thy need, thine honour, and thy friend his 

Never was scraper brave man. Get to live; 
Then Kve, and use it. Els, it is not true 

That thou hast gotten. Surely use alone 155 

Makes money not a contemptible stone. 


Never exceed thy income. Youth may make 
Ev'n with the yeare; but age, if it will hit. 

Shoots a bow short, and lessens still his stake 
As the day lessens, and his Ufe with it. 160 

Thy children, kindred, friends upon thee call; 

Before thy journey fairly part with all. 


Yet in thy thriving still misdoubt some evil; 
Lest gaining gain on thee, and make thee 
dimme 164 

To all things els. Wealth is the conjurer's devil; 
Whom when he thinks he hath, the devil hath 
Gold thou mayst safely touch; but if it stick 
Unto thy hands, it woundeth to the quick. 


170. Luke xvii, 2. Cf. 1. 156. 

171. Starves , i. e. treasures in heaven, lofty things, ideals. 
Cf. Affliction, IV, 135, 1. 11, Artillerie, IV, 
157, and The Starre, IV, 161. He who will pos- 
sess ideals can have them, though what they will 
cost cannot be precisely known. 

174. For one, i. e. for gold. Proverbs xiii, 7. 

177. Forty pounds is mentioned, not banteringly as one 
hundred and fifty years later by Goldsmith, but 
as a large income. In one of Oldham's Satires 
(1680) he calls "Diet, an horse, and thirty pounds 
a year," an enviable salary for a domestic chaplain. 
Herbert's income during his student years was prob- 
ably somewhat short of that named in the poem ; 
for his annuity from his father's estate was £30. 
In 1615 there was added the income from his Fel- 
lowship, and in 1619 the £30 of his salary as Orator. 
In 1623 the King gave him a sinecure which yielded 
£120 a year. It is improbable that these Unes were 
written after Herbert had come into the receipt of 
something like £200 a year. 

179. Curious unthrift= the fastidious prodigal. 

18(5! When, on account of the cloth consumed, the suit 
has cost more than was intended, the man of plea- 
sure does not blame himself, but the tailor. 

184. " If you have only a dashing exterior to commend 
you, you are worth no more than a ship with sails 
set and no cargo aboard: " E. C. Lowe. 



What skills it if a bag of stones or gold 169 

About thy neck do drown thee ? Raise thy head, 

Take starres for money; starres not to be told 
By any art, yet to be purchased. 

None is so wastefuU as the scraping dame. 

She loseth three for one: her soul, rest, fame. 


By no means runne in debt. Take thine own mea- 
sure. 175 

Who cannot hve on twentie pound a yeare 
Cannot on fourtie; he's a man of pleasure, 

A kinde of thing that's for it self too deare. 
The curious unthrift makes his cloth too wide. 
And spares himseK, but would his taylor chide. 


Spend not on hopes. They that by pleading clothes 
Do fortunes seek, when worth and service fail, 

Would have their tale beleeved for their oathes, 
And are hke empty vessels under sail. 184 

Old courtiers know this ; therefore set out so 

As all the day thou mayst hold out to go. 


187. Inexpensive suitability is the thing to be desired, 
has the preeminence. The expression bear the bell 
occurs again in The Search, V, 223, 1. 59. Spen- 
ser uses it in The Faerie Queene, Bk. VI, 10, 26: 

"So farre doth she in beautyfull array 
Above all other lasses beare the bell." 

Browning, too, has employed it in Herve Riel: 

"The fight whence England bore the bell." 

Dr. Lowe writes : " Several explanations of this 
common expression are offered. The best perhaps 
is that in olden days, and in Herbert's time, a bell 
was the prize in horse-racing. Some have found its 
meaning in bell-wether; the sheep that carries the 
bell being the leader of the flock." 

189. Not, "This will go well with that lace, and the lace 
must accordingly be purchased;'* but, "This can 
be made beautiful by my good taste." 

191. Much curiousnesse'= OYer-mceij. A long passage 
in Bk. I of Castighone 's Courtier inveighs against 

196. He risks his own, his wife's, and his children's for- 
tunes, the -wages due to his servants, and the alms 
and obligations due to God. 

198. His coat of arms, in the window of the church, 
is all which perpetuates his memory; and that also 
is neglected. The herauld was a state official whose 
duty it was, between 1413 and 1686, to make 
"Visitations" throughout England and report upon 
the bearing of arms, genealogies, etc. 



In clothes, cheap handsomenesse doth bear the 
Wisedome's a trimmer thing then shop e're 
Say not then, This with that lace will do well; 

But, This with my discretion will be brave. 
Much curiousnesse is a perpetuall wooing, 191 
Nothing with labour, folly long a doing. 


Play not for gain, but sport. Who playes for more 
Then he can lose with pleasure, stakes his 
heart ; 
Perhaps his wive's too, and whom she hath bore ; 

Servants and churches also play their part. 196 
Onely a herauld, who that way doth passe, 
Findes his crackt name at length in the church- 


203. CivUy i. e. domestic, as opposed to foreign. The 

Gunpowder Plot in 1605 would give special point 

to the illustration. 
205. A more natural position for this stanza would be 

before stanza xlix. 
208. Braverie =exce\lencey in contrast with holdnesse of 

1. 210. 

211. Complexion. = disposition, which was supposed to 
be the result of the mixture of the four physical 
humors. So Sir J. Davies, Nosce Teipsum, Pt. II, 

"Musicians think our souls are harmonies, 
Physicians hold that they complexions be." 

Cf. 1. 247, and Employment, III, 103, 1. 5. 

212. Allay, used, like alloy, for anything which in com- 
bination abates or allays a predominant quality or 
humor. Dryden uses complexion and allay in like 
relation: Stanzas on OUver Cromwell, 1. 25. 

214. He that stumbles and faUs not, mends his pace : 
Jacula Prudentum. 

215. He understands the battle of life who himself takes 
command of his passions, instead of allowing them 
to lead. 



If yet thou love game at so deere a rate, 199 

Learn this, that hath old gamesters deerely cost: 

Dost lose ? Rise up. Dost winne ? Rise in that 
Who strive to sit out losing hands, are lost. 

Game is a civil gunpowder, in peace 

Blowing up houses with their whole increase. 


In conversation boldnesse now bears sway. 205 
But know that nothing can so foohsh be 

As empty boldnesse. Therefore first assay 
To stuffe thy minde with soHd braverie. 

Then march on gallant. Get substantiall worth. 

Boldnesse guilds finely and wiU set it forth. 


Be sweet to all. Is thy complexion sowre ? 211 
Then keep such companie, make them thy allay. 

Get a sharp wife, a servant that will lowre. 
A stumbler stumbles least in rugged way. 

Command thy self in chief. He life's warre 
knows 215 

Whom all his passions follow as he goes. 


218. " You are not a coward for not taking up an affront 
that was only hinted; if an affront was meant, he 
who was afraid to go beyond the hint is a coward, 
not you: " A. B. Grosart. 

223. K your reputation is brought to a stand-still by every 
trifle, it has no more substance than a floating 
spider's web. So 'pos'd is used in The Church 
Militant, VI, 123, 1. 51. Cf . Donne, Satire IV, 20 : 
"A thing which would have posed Adam to name.'* 

225. Any great soldier. No special one is meant. So 
the two, 1. 218; the husinesse, 1. 338; the great heart, 
The Church Militant, VI, 123, 1. 67. 

227. If persons are rude, you will of course not select 
them for friendship. But outside of friendship there 
is a considerable field of human intercourse, ruled 
by civility; and civilly to avoid a trifler without a 
quarrel will always command respect from men of 
good breeding. So Jacula Prudentum: Many 

I friends in general, one in special. 

232. Thy amusing remark be counted the more amusing 
as involving thyself. For the thought, cf. The 
Country Parson, XXVIII: Contempt the Parson 
takes in a slighting way, shewing that reproaches 
touch him no more then a stone thrown against 
heaven, where he is and lives. 

233. Do not find merriment in evil. He that lies with 
dogs riseth with fleas: Jacula Prudentum. 



Catch not at quarrels. He that dares not speak 
Plainly and home is coward of the two. 218 

Think not thy fame at ev'ry twitch will break. 
By great deeds shew that thou canst little do, 

And do them not. That shall thy wisdome be, 

And change thy temperance into braverie. 


If that thy fame with ev'ry toy be pos'd, 

'T is a thinne webbe, which poysonous fancies 
make. 224 

But the great souldier's honour was compos'd 
Of thicker stuff e, which would endure a shake. 

Wisdome picks friends ; civihtie playes the rest. 

A toy shunn'd cleanly passeth with the best. 


Laugh not too much. The wittie man laughs least ; 

For wit is newes onely to ignorance. 230 

Lesse at thine own things laugh; lest in the jest 

Thy person share, and the conceit advance. 
Make not thy sport, abuses; for the fly 
That feeds on dung is coloured thereby. 


235. This stanza repeats stanza xi, and suggests that 
the poem was written piecemeal and over consid- 
erable intervals of time. 

238. I. e. that which is "jQned," or refined, — a technical 
term in cookery, — by removal of the scum. " The 
word is therefore used in a conceitful or double 
sense, in contrast with scumme and coarse:" A. B. 
Grosart. — Go lesse. occurs also in 1. 329. 

239. 5igrgre= pregnant, 1. 32. 

242. " * 'T is the sport to have the engineer hoist with his 
own petard,' Hamlet, iii, 4, occurred perhaps to 
Herbert's mind as it must to Herbert's reader:" 
E. C. Lowe. 

246. Like our slang, "a precious fool." 

247. For complexionySee 1. 211. A serious and daring dis- 
position fits a man to lead and to impress himself on 
cultivated city circles. The country girl, who laughs 
easily, is easily frightened by stories of the Plague 
or the blaze of a bonfire. Men are willing to sell the 
interest of their discourses for no price sooner then 
that of mirth; whither the nature of man^ loving 
refreshment, gladly betakes it selfe, even to the losse 
of honour: Country Parson, XYHI. 

251. He, and his in the next Hne, refer to the discom- 
fited giggler. 

252. It is the serious person who can crow at the end of 
the merriment. "He laughs best who laughs last." 



Pick out of mirth, like stones out of thy ground, 
Profanenesse, filthinesse, abusivenesse. 236 

These are the scumme with which course wits 
The fine may spare these well, yet not go lesse. 

All things are bigge with jest ; nothing that's plain 

But may be wittie if thou hast the vein. 240 


Wit's an unruly engine, wildly striking 

Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer. 

Hast thou the knack ? Pamper it not with Hking ; 
But if thou want it, buy it not too deere. 

Many, affecting wit beyond their power, 245 

Have got to be a deare fool for an houre. 


A sad wise valour is the brave complexion 
That leads the van and swallows up the cities. 

The gigler is a milk-maid, whom infection 

Or a fir'd beacon frighteth from his ditties. 250 

Then he's the sport ; the mirth then in him rests. 

And the sad man is cock of all his jests. 


253. Respective. Substantially the same meaning as 
respectfully which W. reads. He carryes himself 
very respectively as to all the Fathers of the Churchy 
so especially to his Diocesan: Country Parson, 
XIX. For the thought, compare Herbert's letter to 
his brother Henry (1618) : Have a good conceit of 
your wit, mark what I say, have a good conceit 
of your wit ; that is, he proud not with a foolish 
vaunting of yourself when there is no cause, hut by 
setting a just price of your qualities. And it is the 
part of a poor spirit to undervalue himself and 

254. J^^,e^r5= their due. 

255. "Where you are a dependent, care or attention to 
your patron is needed ; for in proportion to your 
alacrity or your indifference is the making or mar- 
ring of your fortune: " E. C. Lowe. 

258. You go shares with the devil in bringing about the 
man's destruction. 

260. For thedistance, cf . The Priesthood, I^, 171, 1. 39. 

261. Dr. Grosart thinks that the source of Herbert's 
phrase was the emblems which represent Envy as 
feeding on her own snakes, that issue as hair from 
her head. I doubt it. The phrase seems to me to 
mean simply do not regard yourself as insignificant. 
Cf. Grieve Not, VI, 15, 1. 5, and Psalm xxii, 6. 

264. The animal nature itself tends toward righteous- 
ness when its excesses are curbed. 



Towards great persons use respective boldnesse. 

That temper gives them theirs, and yet doth 
Notliing from thine. In service, care or coldnesse 

Doth ratably thy fortunes marre or make. 256 
Feed no man in his sinnes; for adulation 
Doth make thee parcell-devil in damnation. 


Envie not greatnesse; for thou mak'st thereby 
Thy self the worse, and so the distance greater. 

Be not thine own worm. Yet such jealousie 261 
As hurts not others, but may make thee better, 

Is a good spurre. Correct thy passion's spite; 

Then may the beasts draw thee to happy light. 


266. Its occurs once more in Vertue, VI, 95, 1. 7 (but 
W. there reads his), and in Joseph's Coat, VI, 

268. The allusion is probably to 1 Samuel vi, 10, where 
the ark is carried to Beth-shemesh by two milch 

270. Arras was the best sort of tapestry, named from the 
French town where it was made. The worth of a 
state robe is derived rather from the wearer than 
from the material. Arras is also mentioned in 
Dotage, V, 137, 1. 3, and The Forerunners, 
VI, 79, 1. 26. 

272. Still— always. The best mirror is an old friend: 
Jacula Prudentum. 

273. In time of peril you must shed your blood for him. 
Dr. Grosart suspects an allusion to Antonio, in 
Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. 

276. 1 Samuel xviii, 1, and John xiii, 23. 

279. He=my friend. For the thought, cf. Jacula 
Prudentum : He that hath children, all his morsels 
are not his own. 

280. Both=mj friend and I. 

281. A father's first obligation is to those he has begotten. 



When basenesse is exalted, do not bate 265 

The place its honour for the person's sake. 

The shrine is that which thou dost venerate, 
And not the beast that bears it on his back. 

I care not though the cloth of state should be 

Not of rich arras, but mean tapestrie. 270 


Thy friend put in thy bosome; wear his eies 
Still in thy heart that he may see what's there. 

If cause require, thou art his sacrifice; 

Thy drops of bloud must pay down all his fear. 

But love is lost, the way of friendship's gone. 

Though David had his Jonathan, Christ his 
John. 276 


Yet be not surety if thou be a father. 

Love is a personall debt. I cannot give 
My children's right, nor ought he take it. Rather 

Both friends should die then hinder them to live. 
Fathers first enter bonds to nature's ends, 281 
And are her sureties ere they are a friend's. 


284-288. When, being unmarried, I have devoted myself 
to the service of my friend, have brought myself to 
thrall (of. 1. 118), I rightly offer him my single life, 
my single estate; but I must not promise to do the 
work of two. If in my devotion I make such pro- 
mises, I shall find, when put to the test, that I can 
give not several times myself, but failures by the 
score. Cf. also Proverbs vi, 1-4. 

290. All such = ai\ pleasing discourse. 

295. To put men to discourse of that wherein they are 
most eminent is the most gainfull way of Conversa- 
tion: Country Parson, XXIH. 

296. iJim= the other man. Herbert has a habit of 
using he as a general indefinite pronoun; cf. 1. 279, 
and Content, IV, 151, 1. 20. 

297. The allusion appears to be to some game in which 
the stake — the rest, or remainder — was won 
by courage and sagacity in declaring one's hand at 
the right moment. Cf. 1. 293. The meaning is, 
Many a man misses the information he might ob- 
tain because he is not willing to confess that he does 
not already possess it. On the whole stanza Dr. 
Lowe well quotes Bacon, Essay XXXII: "He that 
questioneth much shall learn much and content 
much; but especially if he apply his questions to the 
skill of the person whom he asketh,for he shall give 
them occasion to please themselves in speaking, 
and himself shall continually gather knowledge." 



If thou be single, all thy goods and ground 
Submit to love; but yet not more then all. 

Give one estate, as one Kfe. None is bound 285 
To work for two, who brought himseK to thrall. 

God made me one man; love makes me no more, 

Till labour come and make my weaknesse score. 


In thy discourse, if thou desire to please, 
All such is courteous, usefuU, new, or wittie. 

Usefulnesse comes by labour, wit by ease, 291 
Courtesie grows in court, news in the citie. 

Get a good stock of these, then draw the card 

That suites him best of whom thy speech is 

Entice all neatly to what they know best; 295 
For so thou dost thy self and him a pleasure. 

But a proud ignorance will lose his rest 

Rather then shew his cards. Steal from his trea- 

What to ask further. Doubts well rais'd do lock 

The speaker to thee and preserve thy stock. 300 


303. "Let him be sure to leave other men their turns to 
speak. Nay, if there be any that would reign and 
take up all the time, let him find means to take 
them off, and bring others on:*' Bacon, Essay 

307. Unmoved in arguing and voyd of all contentious- 
nesse : Country Parson, XXIV. Do not import 
personal feeling into argument, as if your opponent 
meant by his errors to injure you, or you by your 
truth to injure him. You are no more responsible 
for his intellectual weaknesses than for those of 
his body or estate, — except, indeed, so far as you 
can benefit him. Coleridge has the strange note, 
"I do not understand this stanza." 

313. These hues expand nor wisdome neither of 1. 312. 

316. To tire, i. e. to exhaust their adversaries. 

317. While your opponent is beclouded with irritation 
he will not be able to command truth enough to 
damage you. Dr. Grosart quotes Thomas Brooks, a 
Puritan writer, who, speaking of the rainbow, calls 
it "The Bow of God, to which he has given no 
string and furnished with no arrows of vengeance." 
For other allusions to the rainbow, see Affliction, 
IV, 45, 1. 24. On the doctrine of the spheres, see 
note on Prayer, III, 183, 1. 9. 



K thou be Master-gunner, spend not all 

That thou canst speak at once; but husband it, 

And give men turns of speech. Do not forestall 
By lavishnesse thine own and others' wit, 

As if thou mad'st thy will. A civil guest 305 

Will no more talk all, then eat all, the feast. 


Be calm in arguing; for fiercenesse makes 
Errour a fault, and truth discourtesie. 

Why should I feel another man's mistakes 

More then his sicknesses or povertie ? 310 

In love I should; but anger is not love, 

Nor wisdome neither. Therefore gently move. 


Calmnesse is great advantage. He that lets 
Another chafe may warm him at his fire, 

Mark all his wandrings, and enjoy his frets; 315 
As cunning fencers suffer heat to tire. 

Truth dwels not in the clouds; the bow that's 

Doth often aim at, never hit the sphere. 


320. They are responsive only to their own ideas. An- 
gusti est animi aut superbi sua tantum nosse : Her- 
bert's Oration on Return of Prince Charles. 

322. Weigh the good sense of others as carefully as if it 
could work your cure. 

327. What makes a man to be of consequence in his 
neighborhood is a kindly temper, intellectual abil- 
ity, and high station. 

329. There is the emphatic word. — Golesse=a,Te infe- 
rior. So 1. 238, and Church Militant, VI, 125, 
1. 92. They do not loose or go lesse but gaine by it : 
Country Parson, XXIX. 

334. Means =miend.s, aims at, as in The Answer, IV, 
147, 1. 9. I have resolved to set down the Form and 
Character of a true Pastour, that I may have a Mark 
to aim at ; which also I will set as high as I can, 
since hee shoots higher that threatens the Moon then 
hee that aims at a Tree : Country Parson, The 
Authour to the Reader. 

335. The same mingling of humility and high-minded- 
ness (Aristotle's fxeyaXoxJ/vxio) is commended in 
1. 210, 247, 253. 



Mark what another sayes; for many are 319 

Full of themselves and answer their own notion. 

Take all into thee; then with equall care 

Ballance each dramme of reason, hke a potion. 

If truth be with thy friend, be with them both ; 

Share in the conquest and confesse a troth. 


Be usefull where thou Uvest, that they may 325 
Both want and wish thy pleasing presence still. 

Kindnesse, good parts, great places are the way 
To compasse this. Finde out men's wants and 

And meet them there. All worldly joyes go lesse 

To the one joy of doing kindnesses. 330 


Pitch thy behaviour low, thy projects high; 

So shalt thou humble and magnanimous be. 
Sink not in spirit. Who aimeth at the sky 

Shoots higher much then he that means a tree. 
A grain of glorie mixt with humblenesse 335 

Cures both a fever and lethargicknesse. 


338. The husinesse. We should catch the meaning more 
easily if the article the were omitted. The citizen is 
at his business before he rises : Jacula Pruden- 


339. Starting with the medical dictum that lack of ex- 
ercise induces worms, he suggests that purposes 
formed and not at once carried out meet a multi- 
tude of small destroyers. 

341. Alone=are the only ones who Uve. 

349. Dr. Grosart quotes from the Jacula Prudentum: 
A chiWs service is little^ yet he is no little fool that 
despiseth it. But the meaning of the present pas- 
sage is not merely that one should not neglect gain 
from any quarter; but also that, however high the 
receiver, love is always a gift. So Jacula Pruden- 
tum : Love is the true price of love. 

352. 1 Samuel xvii, 50. 

'353. They say it is an ill Mason that refuseth any stone; 
and there is no knowledg but, in a skilfull hand, 
serves either positively as it is or else to illustrate 
some other knowledge : Country Parson, IIH. 



Let thy minde still be bent still plotting where, 
And when, and how the businesse may be done. 

Slacknesse breeds worms; but the sure traveller, 
Though he aHght sometimes, still goeth on. 

Active and stirring spirits live alone. 341 

Write on the others. Here Ues such a one. 


SKght not the smallest losse, whether it be 
In love or honour, take account of all. 

Shine Hke the sunne in every corner. See 345 
Whether thy stock of credit swell or fall. 

Who say, I care not, those I give for lost; 

And to instruct them, 't will not quit the cost. 


Scorn no man's love, though of a mean degree; 

(Love is a present for a mightie king) 350 

Much lesse make any one thine enemie. 

As gunnes destroy, so may a Httle sling. 
The cunning workman never doth refuse 
The meanest tool that he may chance to use. 


355. Forrain=\he wisdom that others can teach, con- 
trasted with the native good of 1. 361. Herbert was 
never out of England. The thought is repeated 
from stanzas 1 and Hv. 

360. Repay with kindness all that you receive. Only 
those who do so are free from debt. 

361. Be covetous of all good which you see in Frenchmen^ 
whether it be in knowledge or in fashion or in 
words. So shall you play a good merchant, by trans- 
porting French commodities to your own country : 
Herbert to his brother Henry in Paris, 1618. 

364. Forfeiteth his will=loses his individuahty. 

368. Board. French aborder, to approach, as Herbert 
uses the word in The Cotjntky Parson, X : The 
Parson to his Children shewes more love than terrour, 
to his servants more terrour than love ; but an old 
good servant boards a child, i. e. approaches it, is 
on the border. But he uses the word in the ordi- 
nary sense in Affliction, IV, 43, 1. 11. 

369. "The traditional peck of dust which every one has 
to swallow, with the sub-thought of the noisome- 
nesse of the decaying body in the grave : " A. B. 

371. His=iis. 

372. The purity of the Parson's mind breaks out and dilates 
it selfe even to his body, cloaths, and habitation : 
Country Parson, III. 



All forrain wisdome doth amount to this, 355 
To take all that is given: whether wealth, 

Or love, or language; nothing comes amisse. 
A good digestion turneth all to health. 

And then as farre as fair behaviour may. 

Strike off all scores ; none are so cleare as they. 


Keep all thy native good and naturahze 361 

All forrain of that name, but scorn their ill: 

Embrace their activenesse, not vanities. 
Who follows all things forfeiteth his will. 

If thou observes t strangers in each fit, 365 

In time they'l runne thee out of all thy wit. 


Affect in things about thee cleanlinesse. 

That all may gladly board thee, as a flowre. 

Slovens take up their stock of noisomnesse 369 
Beforehand, and anticipate their last houre. 

Let thy minde's sweetnesse have his operation 

Upon thy body, clothes, and habitation. 


375. Market'money= market rate, lowest price. 

378. I. e. be yourself a good poor man. 

379. Genesis i, 27. 

381. Matthew xxv, 40; Proverbs xix, 17. 

382. Great alms-giving lessens no man's living : Jacula 

383. Acts X, 4. 

384. "A warning against deathbed charities:" E. C. 

386. Malachi iii, 8-10; Charms and Knots, IV, 9, 
1. 15. 

387. Cf. Prayer, HI, 181, 1. 13. 

388. The gentry or nobility of the Parish sometimes make 
it a piece of state not to come at the beginning of ser- 
vice with their poor neighbours, but at mid-prayers, 
both to their own loss and of theirs also who gaze 
upon them when they come in, and neglect the present 
service of God : Country Parson, VI. 



In Almes regard thy means and others' merit. 

Think heav'n a better bargain then to give 
Onely thy single market-money for it. 375 

Joyn hands with God to make a man to live. 
Give to all something; to a good poore man, 
Till thou change names and be where he began. 


Man is God's image, but a poore man is 379 

Christ's stamp to boot; both images regard. 

God reckons for him, counts the favour his. 
Write, So much giv'n to God; thou shalt be 

Let thy almes go before and keep heav'n's gate 

Open for thee, or both may come too late. 


Restore to God his due in tithe and time. 385 
A tithe purloin'd cankers the whole estate. 

Sundaies observe : think when the bells do chime, 
'Tis angels' musick; therefore come not late. 

God then deals blessings. If a king did so, 

Who would not haste, nay give, to see the show ? 


391. Having read divine Service twice fully, and preached 
in the morning and catechized in the afternoone, he 
thinks he hath in some measure, according to poor 
and jraile man, discharged the publick duties of the 
Congregation : Country Parson, VIII. In 1. 391, 
392, Herbert says, Give God his due twice on 
Sunday, for all the week thy two (main) meals are 
given by Him. Then in 1. 393, 396, he proceeds 
to the Holy Communion, from which the phrases 
of 1. 393 and 394 get their significance ; and also 
the thwaH of 1. 395 and fast of 1. 396. "To fast 
when God intends you to feast is loss:" A. B. 

395. Cro55e= contrary, as in 1. 24. 

397. In The Country Parson, X, he remarks that 
private praying is a more voluntary act in them 
then when they are called to others' prayers. 

399. A weight=8i weighty influence. Love, the attrac- 
tion of our fellow men, has weight with our hearts 
to carry us on in prayer; the sight of many around 
us engaged in the same act suggestively moves us. 

401. Do not suppose that the Httle companies at family 
prayers will be a substitute for the church service. 

403. 5are= bare-headed. 

408. Sins make all equall : Country Parson, III. 



Twice on the day his due is understood; 391 

For all the week thy food so oft he gave thee. 

Thy cheere is mended; bate not of the food 
Because 't is better, and perhaps may save thee. 

Thwart not th' Almighty God. O be not crosse! 

Fast when thou wilt ; but then 't is gain, not 
losse. 396 


Though private prayer be a brave designe, 
Yet pubHck hath more promises, more love; 

And love's a weight to hearts, to eies a signe. 
We all are but cold suitours; let lis move 400 

Where it is warmest. Leave thy six and seven; 

Pray with the most : for where most pray is 


When once thy foot enters the church, be bare. 
God is more there then thou : for thou art 
Onely by his permission. Then beware, 405 

And make thy self all reverence and fear. 
Kneehng ne're spoil'd silk stocking. Quit thy 

All equall are within the churches gate. 


409. "It was the Puritan fashion of Herbert's time and 
subsequently to exalt preaching at the expense of 
pubKc prayer: " E. C. Lowe. 

411. Cf. Jacula Prudentum: When prayers are done, 
my lady is ready. 

415. Seal or seel (Fr. siller) = to close the eyehds par- 
tially or entirely by passing a fine thread through 
them. This was done to hawks till they became 
tractable. Cf. The Pearl, IV, 179, 1. 32, and 
Shakespeare, "Come, seeHng night:" Macbeth, 
iii, 2. For the thought. Proverbs xvii, 24. 

419. The danger of allowing attendance at church to 
become an occasion of social display was already 
in Herbert's mind in the preceding stanza. 

4'23. John ii, 15; 1 Corinthians iii, 17. 

426. 2 Corinthians ii, 16. The Parson often tels them 
that Sermons are dangerous things, that none goes 
out of Church as he came in, but either better or 
worse; that none is careless before his Judg, and that 
the word of God shal Judge us : Country Parson, 




Resort to sermons, but to prayers most: 409 

Praying's the end of preaching. O be drest. 

Stay not for th* other pin. Why thou hast lost 
A joy for it worth worlds. Thus hell doth jest 

Away thy blessings, and extreamly flout thee ; 

Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about 


In time of service seal up both thine eies, 415 
And send them to thine heart; that spying 
They may weep out the stains by them did rise. 
Those doores being shut, all by the eare comes 
Who marks in church-time others* symmetrie, 
Makes all their beautie his deformitie. 420 


Let vain or busie thoughts have there no part: 
Bring not thy plough, thy plots, thy pleasures 
Christ purg'd his temple; so must thou thy heart. 
All worldly thoughts are but theeves met to- 
To couzin thee. Look to thy actions well: 425 
For churches are either our heav'n or hell. 


427. Dr. Grosart thinks that he of this hne and the sec- 
ond him of the next should be referred to God and 
printed in capitals. This would make the theology 
better and the grammar worse. 

429. 1 Corinthians i, 21. 

430. 2 Corinthians iv, 7. 

435. The ditch=ihe gutter. The church is at least bet- 
ter than the alehouse. 

440. Hirriy Herbert's general pronoun, referring here 
to a plural substantive, 

442. Tarry may mean remain in church; do not go 
out, finding the sermon dull; but the connection 
rather requires it to mean, Stay thy criticism of the 

444. Cf 1. 266. 



Judge not the preacher; for he is thy Judge. 

If thou mishke him, thou conceiv'st him not. 
God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge 

To pick out treasures from an earthen pot. 
The worst speak something good; if all want 
sense, 431 

God takes a text and preacheth patience. 


He that gets patience, and the blessing which 
Preachers conclude with, hath not lost his 
pains. 434 

He that by being at church escapes the ditch. 

Which he might fall in by companions, gains. 
He that loves God's abode, and to combine 
With saints on earth, shall one day with them 


Jest not at preachers' language or expression. 

How know'st thou but thy sinnes made him 
miscarrie ? 440 

Then turn thy faults and his into confession. 

God sent him, whatsoe're he be. O tarry. 
And love him for his Master. His condition. 
Though it be ill, makes him no ill Physician. 


449. However God approaches us, whether in awe-in- 
spiring or familiar ways, we turn away. To the 
Jews he announced his law in the thunders of Sinai 
(Exodus xix, 16); to us in preaching so homely 
that it is often called folly (1. 429) ; and both ap- 
peals are equally ineffective. Herbert's sonnet on 
SiNNE, IV, 27, is an expansion of 1. 450. 

454. Watch. " Just about Herbert's time the manufac- 
ture of watches was improving greatly. It was 
about 1620 that watches of present form became 
general, instead of the strange devices of ducks, 
Ganymedes, death's heads, etc., in which they had 
hitherto been fixed. MalvoHo, in his dreams of 
greatness, beholds himself a great man; *I frown 
the while, and perchance wind up my watch or 
play with some rich jewel:' Twelfth Night, ii, 
5. 'He's winding up the watch of his wit; by and 
by it will strike:' Tempest, ii, 1:" E. C. Lowe. 
Watches are mentioned again in Hope, V, 203, 
1. 1, and clocks in Even-Song, V, 61, 1. 24. 

456. Luke xvi, 2. 

460. Do not assume that life will be long and that you 
have time to trifle. 



None shall in hell such bitter pangs endure, 445 
As those who mock at God's way of salvation. 

Whom oil and balsames kill, what salve can cure ? 
They drink with greedinesse a full damnation. 

The Jews refused thunder; and we, folly. 449 

Though God do hedge us in, yet who is holy ? 


Summe up at night what thou hast done by day ; 

And in the morning, what thou hast to do. 
Dresse and undresse thy soul: mark the decay 

And growth of it; if with thy watch, that too 
Be down, then winde up both. Since we shall be 
Most surely judg'd, make thy accounts agree. 



In brief, acquit thee bravely; play the man. 

Look not on pleasures as they come, but go. 
Deferre not the least vertue. Life's poore span 

Make not an ell by triifling in thy wo. 460 

If thou do ill, the jo/ fades, not the pains: 
If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains. 




THE poems of this fundamental Group an- 
nounce the resolve of Herbert to become a 
poet, and state certain ends which he desires his 
poetry to accomplish. He will antagonize the love- 
poets of his day, employing against them, however, 
all their own vigorous intellectuality, passionate 
enthusiasm, and technical resource. All poetry 
has the single theme of love, but hitherto poets 
have misconceived it. They belittle love by far- 
celling it out, erroneously confining it to the petty 
relations of men and women. It shall be Her- 
bert's task to set it forth in its native fulness, and 
to reveal it as a world-principle, working on an 
infinite scale and drawing together God and man. 
The conception of love here advocated is sub- 
stantially that set forth by Plato in his Lysis, 
Phaedrus, and Symposium. Adopted by the Neo- 
Platonists, it influenced through them many of 
the Church Fathers. During the Renaissance it 
gained a wider currency through Ficinus* Latin 
translations of Plato, through his commentary on 
Plato's Symposium, and especially through its elo- 
quent presentation in the fourth Book of CastigH- 
one's Courtier. French poetry became affected by 
it. The group of writers who gathered about Sir 


Philip Sidney, and who looked to France and Italy 
for inspiration, took it up. Spenser, employing it 
to some extent in The Faerie Queene, gave it 
magnificent expression in his Hymns in Honour 
of Love and Beauty. During the first half of the 
seventeenth century Platonism through all its teach- 
ings entered profoundly into English thought. At 
the University, just after Herbert's time, there was 
formed a considerable group of Cambridge Plato- 
nists, of whom Henry More and Ralph Cudworth 
are the best known. One of the later members of 
this company, and a successor of Herbert in the 
Bemerton Rectory, John Norris, in his Essay on 
Ijove and his translation of Waring's Picture of 
Love, gave in beautiful English prose an elaborate 
exposition of Platonic love. A copy of this latter 
book (4th edition, 1744) is in my possession which 
, once belonged to R. W. Emerson, and was given 
by him to a philosophic friend. It may be, there- 
fore, that Emerson's Essay on Love, one of the 
best modern statements of the Platonic doctrine, 
received contributions from Bemerton itself. 

In brief, Plato taught that love is our passion for 
unity, for wholeness. As Love inspires our search, 
so does Beauty make known its end. For wher- 
ever in nature we catch glimpses of harmonious 
adjustment, the wholeness there suggested affects 
us as beautiful and prompts us to approach. 
Following the clue of Beauty, then, we may say 
that Love directs every rational life. Originally 


one with God, with the universe, and with one 
another, we find ourselves now in the present 
world detached and fragmentary. Feeling this 
fragmentariness, as the wise unceasingly do, we 
are horror-stricken and lonely. We long for sup- 
plementation. We turn to the objects around us, 
and especially to one another, to obtain that whole- 
ness which we feel ourselves to lack. In our eyes 
those we love are always beautiful, and we are 
restlessly eager to join them. Yet such lesser unions 
continually bring disappointment and a new sense 
of incompleteness. Their Kttle wholenesses are, 
after all, but fragmentary, their function being to 
disclose the necessity of the one ultimate and only 
adequate wholeness. In reahty there can be but 
one, that which is found in union with Goodness, 
God, the Ideal, Heavenly Beauty, that Love which 
is the authour of this great frame. Truly to love is 
to look through all else to Him. 

We must, then, clear away the special conditions 
under which Love first appears, if we would rise to 
a knowledge of its nature. " The eye of Love," says 
Emerson in one of his letters, " falls on some mortal 
form, but it rests not a moment there. As every 
leaf represents to us all vegetable nature, so Love 
looks through that spotted bHghted form to the 
vast spiritual element of which it was created and 
which it represents." When Love is true to itself 
as the passion for perfection, it continually super- 
sedes its lower forms in the interest of what is 


larger. None of these inferior forms is so obscuring, 
so little regardful of anything beyond itself, as that 
instinctive passion between the sexes which tries 
to monopoHze the name of Love. Friendship is 
more intelligent. Unities of a still wider and firmer 
kind are disclosed in the social, artistic, and scien- 
tific impulses. These are all prompted by Love 
and follow increasing grades of Beauty. Religion, 
however, alone reveals the full significance of these 
struggles toward conjunction ; for God is the only 
complete wholeness, and every endeavor to unite 
with other things or persons is but .a blind seeking 
after Him. 

Plato's doctrine of love has many aspects, which 
variously influenced other English poets. I de- 
velop here only that quantitative presentation of it 
which peculiarly appealed to Herbert's practical 
and non-mystical mind. In this Group of poems he 
applies the doctrine as he understands it, resolving 
to devote himself to abolishing love's blindness. 
Like all poets he will sing of love, but not of that 
fettering attachment to particular persons which 
is miscalled by its great name. Even in his two 
youthful sonnets he has discovered the emptiness 
and necessary artificiality of this. The theme of 
all his verse shall be the striving of the soul after 
union with God, who is conceived as a definite 
detached person hostile to subordinate manifesta- 
tions of himself. This all-excluding devotion to 
God Herbert carefully expounds in the two sonnets 


on Love; defends it against the love-poets in the 
first Jordan; in the second Jordan sees that his 
own exuberant disposition exposes him to the very 
errors he is fighting; calls for divine aid in Praise; 
acknowledges in The Quidditie how Httle he can 
effect ; encourages himself in The Elixer by 
recalhng Love's transforming power; in Employ- 
ment guards against sluggishness; and in Anti- 
PHON joins with men and angels in adoration. In 
this Group of poems we have, therefore, the an- 
nouncement of a poetical programme. How long 
it remained near Herbert's heart may be read later 
in Dulnesse, The Forerunners, Life, and 
The Flower; where, feeling death approach, he 
reviews his campaign against the love-poets and 
mourns that his beautiful weapons must be laid 

Similar protests against the tendency of poetry 
to find love in sexual conditions rather than in 
rational or divine are not uncommon in the 
Jacobean poetry, and even in the later Eliza- 
bethan. Spenser himself had uttered them in the 
Preface to his Hymns in Honour of Heavenly Love 
and Beauty. So had Herbert's special master, 
Donne, in his Divine Sonnets and elsewhere. Just 
after Herbert's death, and partly through his influ- 
ence, Platonic love became so fashionable as itself 
to awaken protest. Herbert, then, cannot be called 
the first to set heavenly love in contrast to earthly. 
He merely treated the antagonism with peculiar 


precision and persistency, gave it the special turn 
which gained acceptance, and used it as did no 
other poet to inform the total body of his work. 

It may be interesting to notice how different a 
conclusion a grave and passionate poet of recent 
years, Coventry Patmore, has drawn from the 
same Platonic premises. All Patmore' s poetry, 
like that of Herbert, is a study of love. Love, too, 
in his view is not many but one, human loves being 
partial embodiments of a single divine principle. 
But while Herbert rejects the human loves as par- 
tial, Patmore, just because they are small embodi- 
ments, reverences them as our appointed means of 
approaching God. If, then, we call the tendency of 
Herbert Abstract Monotheism, because it sets in 
sharp and antagonistic contrast infinite and finite 
love, we might name that of Patmore a kind of 
Henotheism ; since it finds a particular finite object 
needful if we would apprehend the universally 
divine. From the extreme and desolating conse- 
quences of his doctrine Herbert is saved by his 
rich Elizabethan temperament. 



Introductory : 

" This following Letter and Sonnet were in the 
first year of his going to Cambridge sent his dear 
Mother for a New Year's gift. I fear the heat of 
my late Ague hath dried up those springs by which 
Scholars say the Muses use to take up their habi- 
tations. However, I need not their help to reprove 
the vanity of those many Love-poems that are daily 
writ and consecrated to Venus; nor to bewail that 
so few are writ that look towards God and Heaven. 
For my own part, my meaning, dear mother, is in 
these Sonnets to declare my resolution to be that my 
poor Abilities in Poetry shall be all and ever con- 
secrated to God's glory:" Walton's Life. — Giles 
Fletcher in Christ's Victorie over Death, stanza vi 
(1610), has a similar attack on the love-poetry 
of the time. 

"Go giddy brains, whose wits are thought so fresh. 
Pluck all the flow'rs that nature forth doth throw. 
Go stick them on the cheeks of wanton flesh; 
Poor idol (forc't at once to fall and grow) 
Of fading roses and of melting snow! 
Your songs exceed yoiu* matter; this of mine 
The matter which it sings shall make divine; 
As stars duU puddles guild, in which their beauties shine." 


As Herbert entered the University in the year 1609, 
the "New Year" here mentioned must have been 
that of March, 1610, just before he became seven- 
teen years of age. The style of these sonnets shows 



My God, where is that antient heat towards thee 
Wherewith whole shoals of Martyrs once did 

Besides their other flames ? Doth Poetry 
Wear Venus' livery, only serve her turn ? 4 

Why are not Sonnets made of thee, and layes 
Upon thine Altar burnt ? Cannot thy love 
Heighten a spirit to sound out thy praise 
As well as any she ? Cannot thy Dove 
Outstrip their Cupid easily in flight ? 9 

Or, since thy ways are deep and still the same. 
Will not a verse run smooth that bears thy name ? 
Why doth that fire, which by thy power and might 
Each breast does feel, no braver fuel choose 
Than that which one day Worms may chance 
refuse ? 


the influence of Donne, whose friendship his mother 
had formed in 1606-7, a grateful letter being ad- 
dressed to her by Donne in the latter year. These 
are the earhest English poems of Herbert of which 
we have knowledge. They were not included in 
The Temple. 

Metre : 

Of seventeen sonnets, eleven — like this — depart 
in the third quatrain from the Shakespearian form. 

Subject : 

True love-poetry should be addressed only to God. 

Notes : 

8. The dove is also the bird of Venus; cf. The Invi- 
tation, V, 51, 1. 26. 
10. This Kne is more like Herbert's later style than 
any other in these sonnets. It may be compared 
with The Bunch of Grapes, V, 217, 1. 13. 
19. By comparing it to a woman's robe. 

21. Thy abuse = an injury done to thee. 

22. Cf. Vanitie, IV, 153, 1. 3. 
24. Fire, i. e. the fire of 1. 12. 

28. In the discovery =m the uncovering or disclosure; 
the more fully God is known, the greater the beauty. 
In Xing James' Version of the Bible, discover is 
used more than thirty times in this sense, only 
twice with the modem meaning. 



Sure, Lord, there is enough in thee to dry 15 
Oceans of Ink; for as the Deluge did 
Cover the Earth, so doth thy Majesty; 

Each cloud distils thy praise, and doth forbid 

Poets to turn it to another use. 

Roses and Lilies speak thee; and to make 20 
A pair of Cheeks of them, is thy abuse. 

Why should I Women's eyes for Chrystal take ? 

Such poor invention burns in their low mind 
Whose fire is wild, and doth not upward go 
To praise, and on thee, Lord, some ink bestow. 

Open the bones, and you shall nothing find 26 
In the best face but filth; when Lord, in Thee 
The beauty lies in the discovery. 

82 LOVE 

Introductory : 

**In the first of these poems he complains of the 
diversion of the passion from God. In the second 
he prays for the direction of it to him : " G. Ryley. 
Two other poems with this title are given, IV, 197, 
VI, 147. 


Found in W. 

Metre : 

Of seventeen sonnets, eleven — like this — depart 
in the third quatrain from the Shakespearian form. 

Subject : 

The love that fashions the universe is a greater 
inspiration to poetry than woman's love. So 
Dante in the last Hne of the Paradiso : "L' amor 
che muove '1 sole e 1' altre stelle." 


3. Man has made a multitude of loves, while really 
there is but one. The phrase occurs again in 
Dooms-Day, IV, 65, 1. 28, and An Offering, IV, 
189, 1. 17. 

4. I. e. on human beings, created out of dust. Genesis 
ii, 7; Trinitie-Sunday, IQ, 161, 1. 1. 

5. The title of love. 

6. Invention, cf. Jordan, HI, 91, 1. 3. 
11. Standing aside, not taking part. 

13. SkarJ or glove, i. e. those of the mistress. 



Immortall Love, authour of this great frame, 
Sprung from that beautie which can never fade, 
How hath man parcel'd out thy glorious name 

And thrown it on that dust which thou hast made, 

While mortall love doth all the title gain ! 5 

Which siding with invention, they together 
Bear all the sway, possessing heart and brain, 

(Thy workmanship) and give thee share in neither. 

Wit fancies beautie, beautie raiseth wit. 

The world is theirs; they two play out the game, 

Thou standing by. And though thy glorious 

name 11 

Wrought our deliverance from th' infernall pit. 
Who sings thy praise ? Onely a skarf or glove 
Doth warm our hands and make them write of 

84 LOVE 

20. Pant thee, i. e. pant for thee. Psalm xlii, 1. 

21. Invention, 1. 6. 

23. Dust, cf. 1. 4. 

24. This figure appears repeatedly; cf. Faith, IV, 31, 
1. 38; Ungratefulnesse, IV, 39, 1. 17; Frailtie, 
rV, 155, 1. 15. Cf., too, Jacula Prudentum: He 
that blows in the dust fills his eyes with it. 

26. Dmeize<^= dispossessed; cf. Submission, V, 205, 
. 1. 12. So Donne says (A Litany, 1. 40) that the 
Virgin Mary "disseized sin." 



Immortall Heat, O let thy greater flame 15 

Attract the lesser to it ! Let those fires, 
Which shall consurae the world, first make it 
And kindle in our hearts such true desires 
As may consume our lusts and make thee way. 
Then shall our hearts pant thee ; then shall our 
brain 20 

All her invention on thine Altar lay, 
And there in hymnes send back thy fire again. 
Our eies shall see thee, which before saw dust, 
Dust blown by wit till that they both were 

Thou shalt recover all thy goods in kinde, 25 
Who wert disseized by usurping lust. 

All knees shall bow to thee; all wit shall rise 
And praise him who did make and mend our 


Introductory : 

The Jordan is a meandering stream, running one 
hundred and twenty miles to cover sixty. Attack- 
ing the artificiaUty and indirectness of the love- 
poets, Herbert calls such love-utterances Jordans. 
Cf. G. Fletcher's Christ's Victorie after Death, 
stanza v: 

"Answer me, Jordan, why thy crooked tide 
So often wanders from his nearest way. 
As though some other way thy stream would slide 
And fain salute the place where something lay ? " 

Date : 

Found in W. In style similar to Two Sonnets, 
III, 79. 

Metre : 

Unique, but differs only in rhyming system from 
Decay, V, 115. 

Subject : 

Human love makes its poetry labored and artificial; 
divine love shall make mine swift and simple. 

Notes : 

2. Become= are becoming to. 

5. Painted chair: cf. The Temper, IV, 109, 1. 9; 
The British Church, V, 103, 1. 16; Church- 
Rents AND ScHiSMES, V, 105, 1. 1. A painted 
face is false as compared with the natural face. 
So the chair or throne of grace filled by God is 
true compared with the painted chairs of the love- 



Who sayes that fictions onely and false hair 
Become a verse ? Is there in truth no beautie ? 

Is aU good structure in a winding stair ? 

May no hnes passe except they do their dutie 

Not to a true, but painted chair ? 5 


9. Though Herbert here sneers at love-poems for 
their lack of directness and double meanings, he 
acknowledges in the following poem that his verse 
is often open to attack on the same grounds. 

12. Commenting on Donne, Satire II, 1. 86: "Piece- 
meal he gets lands, and spends as much time 
Wringing each acre, as maids pulling prime,'* Dr. 
Grosart writes: "Prime, in primero, is a winning 
hand of different suits (with probably certain Kmi- 
tations as to the number of cards, since there were 
different primes) different to and of lower value 
than a flush or a hand of (four) cards of the same 
suit. The game is now unknown; but from such 
notices as we have, it would seem that one could 
stand on his hands, or, as in ecarte and other games, 
discard and take others. From the words of our 
text the fresh cards were not dealt by the dealer, 
but * pulled' by the player at hazard." The phrase 
is therefore equivalent to making a great fuss over 
a small matter. Pvll is used in the sense of draw 
in The Church Militant, VI, 129, 1. 134. — For 
me=so far as I am concerned, for all me. 

13. Nightingale or spring, i. e. "sweetness of expres- 
sion or plenitude of matter:'* G. Ryley. 

14. On this thought of the loss of rhyme, see note at the 
end of A True Hymne, V, 27. 

15. Antiphon, V, 63, celebrates this phrase, which 
occurs again in The Elixer, III, 99,1. 1. 


Is it no verse except enchanted groves 

And sudden arbours shadow course-spunne 
lines ? 

Must purUng streams refresh a lover's loves ? 
Must all be vail'd, while he that reades divines, 

Catching the sense at two removes ? 10 

Shepherds are honest people; let them sing. 
Riddle who list for me, and pull for Prime. 

I envie no man's nightingale or spring; 

Nor let them punish me with losse of ryme. 

Who plainly say. My God, My King. 15 


Introductory : 

In W. this poem is entitled Invention. It is strik- 
ingly similar to Sir Philip Sidney's first sonnet to 
Stella. "He deUver'd his first Sermon after a most 
florid manner. But at the close of this Sermon 
told them That should not he his constant way of 
Preaching. For since Almighty God does not intend 
to lead men to heaven by hard Questions, he would 
not therefore fill their heads with unnecessary No- 
tions; hut that for their sakes his language and his 
expressions should he more plain and practical in 
his future Sermons:" Walton's Life. 


Found in W. In style later than the previous Jor- 
dan. Line 1 states that many poems had preceded. 

Metre : 

, Unique, but differs only in rhyming system from 
The Church-Porch, III, 15; Jordan, III, 87; 
Church-Monuments, III, 201; An Offering, 
IV, 189; and Sinnes Round, V, 143. 

Subject : 

The poet, contriving a gift for his love, offers his 
choicest intellectual treasures; but learns that the 
only thing desired is love itself. 


2. Their, i. e. heavenly joys. 

4. Burnish, usually in the sense of polish, as in 
Shakespeare's "Burnished sun:" Merchant of 



When first my lines of heav'nly joyes made men- 
Such was their lustre, they did so excell, 
That I sought out quaint words and trim inven- 
tion ; 
My thoughts began to burnish, sprout, and swell, 
Curling with metaphors a plain intention, 5 

Decking the sense as if it were to sell. 


Venice, ii, 1; here has the meaning of spread. 
Dryden may be using it in this sense in his Pro- 
logue to Circe, 1. 20 : 

"A slender poet must have time to grow, 
And spread and burnish as his brothers do." 

Dr. Gibson quotes from Fuller's Joseph's Coat: 
"We must not all run up in height like a hop-pole, 
but also burnish and spread in breadth." 

5. Cf. DuLNESSE, V, 207, 1. 7. 

6. Cf. Shakespeare's Sonnet XXI: "I will not praise 
that purpose not to sell." 

8. Sped= supplied, aided on my way. 

9. Blotted = corrected. The editors of the First Foho 
of Shakespeare say : " We have scarce received from 
him a blot in his papers." The truth of Herbert's 
statement is evident in the many alterations of the 
poems in the interval between the WilUams and 
the Bodleian Manuscripts. 

10. QmcA;=vivid. Cf. Dulnesse, V, 207, 1. 3. 

13. Work and winde. The same combination in The 

World, IV, 23, 1. 13, and with a modification in 

BusiNESSE, V, 139, 1. 9. 
16. Wide=wide of the mark, far-fetched. — Pretence 

here = stretching forth, strain. Cf. Donne, To the 

Countess of Bedford, 1. 40 : 

"So we have dulled our mind, it hath no ends; 
Only the body's busy and pretends." 

So too Unkindnesse, rV, 105, 1. 16 ; Man's Med- 
ley, V, 125, 1. 8; Dulnesse, V, 209, 1. 19. 


Thousands of notions in my brain did runne, 
Off'ring their service, if I were not sped. 

I often blotted what I had begunne; 9 

This was not quick enough, and that was dead. 

Nothing could seem too rich to clothe the sunne, 
Much lesse those joyes which trample on his 

As flames do work and winde when they ascend. 
So did I weave my self into the sense. 

But while I bustled, I might heare a friend 15 
Whisper, How wide is all this long ^pretence ! 

There is in love a sweetnesse readie penned; 
Copie out onely that, and save expense. 


Introductory : 

Two other poems with this title are given, IV, 193, 

and V, 45. 

Found in W. Line 1 shows him already in the 

practice of writing verse. 
Metre : 

Subject : 

Without divine aid my poetic work cannot be done. 

But I am eager to accept aid, and that is itself a 

power — as is seen when men employ wings, slings, 

cordials, or stimulating examples. 
Notes : 

4. This is the refrain of Donne's Hymn to God the 

Father. Herbert has a similar refrain in another 

Praise, V, 45. 
6. The contrast is between flying and going, i. e. 

walking; as in Watts' hymn : 

"Our souls can neither fly nor go 
To reach immortal joys." 

12. More than with his short arm alone. 1 Samuel 
xvii, 50. Cf. The Church-Porch, III, 55, 1. 352. 

13. An allusion to the cordials in vogue, distilled from 
various herbs. *' Grace is such a cordial, lifting 
the poor soul to the height of the soul rich in 
comfort:" A. B. Grosart. Cf. Providence, V, 
87, 1. 75, with note. 



To write a verse or two is all the praise 
That I can raise. 
Mend my estate in any wayes, 
Thou shalt have more. 

I go to Church; help me to wings, and I 5 

Will thither flie. 
Or, if I mount unto the skie, 
I will do more. 

Man is all weaknesse; there is no such thing 

As Prince or King. 10 

His arm is short, yet with a sUng 
He may do more. 

An herb destill'd, and drunk, may dwell next doore 
On the same floore 
To a brave soul. Exalt the poore, 15 
They can do more. 

O raise me then ! Poore bees, that work all day. 
Sting my delay; 
Who have a work as well as they. 

And much, much more. 20 


Introductory : 

W. entitles this Poetry. Quidditie is the school- 
men's name for the "whatness," the essence of a 
thing, that which makes anything to be what it is. 
To it Butler refers in Hudibras, I, 1, 150: 

"He knew what's what, and that's as high 
As metaphysic wit can fly." 

This may often be a matter seemingly unimportant, 
and so quiddit comes to mean an over-niceness, 
e.g. Hamlet, v. 1: "Where be his quiddits now, 
his quillets.'^" 


Found in W. Like the pre^dous, shows him already 
a poet. 

Subject : 

In the eyes of the world my poetry is a trifle; but 
expressing as it does the very essence of my life, 
my connection with God, I am justified in giving 
it aU my care. 

Metre : 

Used also in the Song of Easter, III, 155, and in 
The Quip, V, 33. 

12. 3Iost, take aZZ= poetry being all I have, do thou, 
the greatest conceivable, accept it. The thought 
occurs again in the last line of The Invitation, 
V, 51. 



My God, a verse is not a crown, 
No point of honour, or gay suit, 

No hawk, or banquet, or renown, 
Nor a good sword, nor yet a lute: 

It cannot vault, or dance, or play; 5 

It never was in France or Spain; 

Nor can it entertain the day 
With a great stable or demain. 

It is no office, art, or news, 

Nor the Exchange, or busie Hall. 10 
But it is that which while I use 

I am with thee; and Most, take all. 



The winning of the Grand Elixir, the discovery of 
the Philosopher's Stone, the transmutation of the 
baser metals into gold, are several designations of 
the aims of the alchemists, according as these are 
directed toward spiritual, scientific, or material ends. 
They refer, however, not to three things, but to 
one and the same thing, — and that, too, something 
not apprehensible by the senses. In the world of 
particular objects, whether material or mental, the 
alchemists — like the early Greek philosophers — 
seek an ultimate unity. This primal element or 
absolute they name variously. When caUing it a 
stone (1. 21) they attach to it none of the specific 
qualities which mark the stone of ordinary life. It 
may be solid or liquid, hence the tincture of 1. 15. 
It is merely the essence, principle, first cause, 
apxv, of all things; and out of it, when once found, 
all may again be derived. Herbert alludes to the 
doctrine elsewhere in Easter, HI, 153, 1. 5; Na- 
ture, IV, 99, 1. 7-12; The Pearl, IV, 177, 1. 6; 
Vanitie, V, 135, 1. 15-21; and less evidently in 
The Church-Porch, III, 33, 1. 165. But he is 
usually too confirmed a dualist, and is accustomed 
to distinguish too sharply mind from matter, to 
have any large sympathy with monistic Alchemy. 
Ben Jonson in his comedy of The Alchemist (1610) 
brought before the English pubUc an amusing 
body of alchemical learning. John Wesley has re- 
written this poem and made it into a popular hymn. 



Teach me, my God and King, 
In all things thee to see; 
And what I do in any thing, 
To do it as for thee. 

Not rudely, as a beast, 5 

To runne into an action; 
But still to make thee prepossest, 
And give it his perfection. 

A man that looks on glasse 

On it may stay his eye, 10 

Or if he pleaseth, through it passe. 
And then the heav'n espie. 


Date : 

Found in W. The many changes show Herbert's 

estimate of the great importance of this poem. 
Metre : 

Subject : 

Nothing is little in God's service. If it once have 

the honour of that Name^ it grows great instantly : 

Country Parson, XIV. 
Notes : 

1. My God and King, a favorite combination. Cf. 

Jordan, III, 89, 1. 15, and Antiphon, V, 63, 1. £. 
5. Then they labour 'profanely, when they set themselves 

to work like brute beasts, never raising their thoughts 

to God, nor sanctifying their labour with daily prayer: 

Country Parson, XIV. 

7. Cf. Obedience, IV, 181, 1. 18. Herbert uses the 
word again in The Country Parson, X: The 
stomach being prepossessed with flesh. Donne has a 
modification of the thought in The Second Anni- 
versary, 1. 459: 

"Who being solicited to any act, 
Still heard God pleading his safe precontract." 

8. His==its. For the phrase, cf. Praise, V, 45, 1. 9. 
15. In later editions, his is often misprinted this. 

20. T hat = the room. 

21. Cf. CoRNARo ON Temperance, II, 154. 
24. T old = reckoned, as in "telling beads." 


All may of thee partake: 
Nothing can be so mean, 
Which with his tincture (for thy sake) 15 
Will not grow bright and clean. 

A servant with this clause 
Makes drudgerie divine: 
Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws. 

Makes that and th' action fine. 20 

This is the famous stone 
That turneth all to gold: 
For that which God doth touch and own 
Cannot for lesse be told. 


Introductory : 

Another poem with this title is given, IV, 143. 

Found in W. 
Metre : 

Subject : 

Life as action. Active and stirring spirits live alone : 

The Church-Porch, III, 55, 1. 341. 
Notes : 

3. Trade, cf. The Pearl, IV, 177, 1. 12. 

4. Furre=i}ie warm garments needed by the inac- 
tive. Cf . The Church Militant, VI, 133, 1. 198. 

5. Complexion = disposition. So The Church- 
Porch, III, 39, 1. 211. " Man being compounded of 
the four complexions (whose fathers are the four 
elements) although there be a mixture of them all 
in all the parts of his body, yet must the divers 
parts of our microcosme or little world within our- 
selves be diversly more inclined, some to one, some 
to another complexion, according to the diversitie 
of their uses, that of these discords a perfect har- 
monic may be made up for the maintenance of the 
whole body:" King James' Counterblast Against 

6. No starre =no fixed and imperishable fire. 
9. Fami= fainting, sluggish. 

11. Of the four elements out of which God formed all 



He that is weary, let him sit. 

My soul would stirre 
And trade in courtesies and wit, 

Quitting the furre 
To cold complexions needing it. 5 

Man is no starre, but a quick coal 

Of mortall fire; 
Who blows it not, nor doth controU 

A faint desire. 
Lets his own ashes choke his soul. 10 

When th' elements did for place contest 
With him whose will 

Ordain'd the highest to be best, 

The earth sat still, 

And by the others is opprest. l.^ 


things, fire (here described in the second stanza) 
is the highest, earth the lowest, because the most 
inert. There is danger that we, through inertia, 
find a similarly low place. For the whole doctrine, 
see Shakespeare's Sonnets XLIV and XLV. 

18. So The Church-Porch, III, 55, 1. 345. The sun 
is always shining somewhere, while the stars can 
appear only during some absence of the sun. Like 
the sun we should be perpetual iu action, not like 
the stars occasional. 

21. Because the orange has at the same time both 
blossoms and fruit. Cf. Man, IV, 13, 1. 8; Af- 
fliction, IV, 141, 1. 57; Paradise, V, 39, 1. 2. 

25. Isaiah v, 4. 

28. Our wares = OUT talents, powers. 

29. We lie torpid. 


Life is a businesse, not good cheer, 

Ever in warres. 
The sunne still shineth there or here, 

Whereas the starres 
Watch an advantage to appeare. 20 

Oh that I were an Orenge-tree, 
That busie plant! 

Then should I ever laden be, 

And never want 

Some fruit for him that dressed me. 25 

But we are still too young or old; 

The man is gone 
Before we do our wares unfold. 

So we freeze on, 
Untill the grave increase our cold. 30 


Introductory : 

In W. this is entitled "Ode." Antiphon= a re- 
sponsive song in which strain answers strain. 


Found in W. Another poem with this title is given, 
V, 63. 

Metre : 

Unique, and an exquisite case of inwoven rhyme. 
The second, fourth, and sixth lines of each stanza 
rhyme together; but the fifth of each with the first 
and third of the following stanza. 

Subject : 

Men and angels unite to praise the love of God; 
the former having it in prospect, the latter in pos- 

Notes : 

9. Th* en<?= these latter days. 
23. So The Search, V, 223, 1. 60. 



Chor. Praised be the God of love. 

Men. Here below, 

Angels. And here above. 
Cho. Who hath dealt his mercies so, 

Ang. To his friend, 5 

Men. And to his foe, 

Cho. That both grace and glorie tend 
Ang. Us of old, 
Men. And us in th' end. 

Cho. The great shepherd of the fold 10 

Ang. Us did make. 
Men. For us was sold. 

Cho. He our foes in pieces brake. 

Ang. Him we touch. 

Men. And him we take. 15 

Cho. Wherefore since that he is such, 

Ang. We adore. 

Men. And we do crouch. 

Cho. Lord, thy praises should be more. 

Men. We have none, 20 

Ang. And we no store. 

Cho. Praised be the God alone. 

Who hath made of two folds one. 



-,. c. 


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r/it: Jfa-^^'- 





IN religion Herbert, with most of the devout men 
of his time, Anghcans no less than Puritans, 
is — as I have already argued — an individuaUst. 
The relations between God and his own soul are 
what interest him. Like Bunyan's Pilgrim, he 
undertakes a soUtary journey to the heavenly city, 
and concerns himself Httle about his fellow men, 
except to cry aloud that they too are in danger. 
Any notion of dedicating himself to their welfare is 
foreign to him. Perhaps his poem The Windows 
comes nearest to expressing something Uke human 
responsibihty. But such moods are rare. Usually 
his responsibihty is to God alone; and this, pas- 
sionately uttered in Aaron and The Priesthood, 
is the farthest point to which his self-centred piety 
carries his verse. The mystic forgets himself in 
the thought of God ; the philanthropist, in the 
thought of human needs. To Herbert — at least 
to the poet Herbert — the personal relationship of 
the soul to God is the one matter of consequence. 
In this relationship he finds the foundation of 
the Church. As the home organizes and gives 
opportunity of expression to the love of single 
persons for one another, so does the Church to the 
love of single persons and God. Herbert never 


thinks of the Church in our modern fashion as 
the manifestation of God to collective humanity, 
progressively enlarging human powers and expand- 
ing human ideals. Nor does he conceive it as an 
august divine institution, venerable in itself, and 
rightly subordinating individuals to its own high 
ends. It is easy to mistake Herbert for an ecclesi- 
astic, and to say, as has sometimes been said, that 
he cannot be understood by one who is not Episco- 
pally born. But such an error is due to careless 
reading. He is, indeed, devoted to the Church. 
He talks of nothing else. But in his poem Sion, 
as constantly though less exphcitly elsewhere, he 
explains that the Church, God's Temple, is the 
human heart, and that all its frame and fahrick is 
within. His book he thus very naturally entitled 
The Church or Temple, and told Ferrar that it 
T^as a picture of the many Conflicts that have past 
betwixt God and my Soul before I could subject 
mine to the will of Jesus my Master. 

It is not strange, then, that one who has made 
the resolve which is set forth in the preceding 
Group of poems should become a singer of the 
Church and its ordinances as thus conceived. For 
these celebrate the going forth of a loving God to 
seek a wayward sinner. They show that sinner 
ill at ease so long as he is parted from his exalted 
friend, and they indicate the means through which 
a heavenly union may be accomplished. But one 
who takes love for his theme will find that there 


are three ways of exploring it. He may directly 
inspect the yearning moods of the soul, viewing 
them as psychological facts of experience ; or he 
may consider more abstractly the general relations 
involved in love, and treat these as theoretic sub- 
jects of contemplation ; or lastly, he may catalogue 
the regularities of love, its habitual modes of ex- 
pression, the fixed avenues through which the loved 
one becomes accessible. And all these ways are as 
open to the student of sacred love as to him who 
would study the profane. 

Herbert adopts them all, sometimes in the same 
poem. I beUeve, however, I can make his work 
more intelHgible if I roughly classify and divide 
according to this scheme. Those of his Cambridge 
poems which predominantly deal with his great 
theme in the direct way I accordingly entitle The 
Inner Life. Those which treat it as a subject for 
philosophic analysis I call Meditation. And to 
those which mark out its ordered paths I give 
the special name of The Church. It is true that 
in doing so I unwarrantably narrow Herbert's 
comprehensive word. Besides my Group, he covers 
with that holy name every stirring of the aspiring 
soul and every serious reflection on the life of love. 
It is the all-including title of his poems. But I see 
no harm in applying it, far excellence and after 
this explanation, to the institutional features of 
love. Only we must be careful to remember that 
these, no less than the poignant cries of separation 


and suffering, derive their meanings from the indi- 
vidual experience of love. 

There are advantages in placing this Group 
first, and in bringing the Group on The Inner Life 
into close connection with The Crisis. From their 
style, too, I suspect that most of these churchly 
poems are of earUer date than the majority of 
those which follow. That is certainly the case 
with the longest and most important. The Sacri- 
fice; an archaic piece which, with all its compact 
power, is Ukely to prove somewhat repulsive to a 
modern taste. In it the suffering of Him who loves 
us is anatomized in elaborate, and perhaps too 
calculated, detail. Probably a reader will approach 
it most understandingly by comparing it with early 
Flemish and German paintings, or with Albert 
Diirer's woodcuts. Diirer's Passion and his Life 
of the Virgin were widely circulated in the century 
before Herbert. One fancies Herbert turning them 
over and designing his Altar-piece in their spirit. 
In it and them there is elaborate reahsm in setting 
forth an ideal scene, an exaggeration of physical 
pain, a forced ingenuity in distressful incident, and 
a failure to subordinate detail; while at the same 
time there is distributed everywhere a strange 
vividness, rich human sympathies, and the im- 
pression — conveyed, we hardly know how — that 
through all the crowded and homely circumstance 
the solemnest of world-events is occurring. In 
treating so sacred a subject Herbert allows himself 


the smallest possible departure from the words of 
Scripture. This peculiarity of the poem I have 
tried to exhibit in the notes. 

Following The Sacrifice, I set a series of festi- 
val songs, in which analogies of the soul's experi- 
ence are found in historic events. With these falls 
the festival of Sunday, a day more frequent, 
pompous, and full of human significance than all 
other holy days. After it are grouped special modes 
of divine communication, — through Prayer, 
Scripture, Baptisme, Communion, Musick. 
The group concludes with the solemn monitions 
of stately burial monuments, inciting the beholder 
to high aspiration and disentanglement from the 



Introductory : 

In W. the first four Knes are headed "Perirrhante- 
rium " (a title which is given to the first stanza of 
The Church-Porch in ed. 1633), and have a page 
to themselves; the succeeding four lines, also occu- 
pying a page, and being headed "Superhminare." 
— Superliminare= the Hntel or crossbar of the 
doorway, a place for an inscription.* Cf. Exodus 
xii, 22. 


Found in W. It is intended as an introduction to 
a volume of verse. 

Metre : 

Used also in the Song of Good Friday, III, 151. 


Conditions of entering the Church of God. 

Notes : 

1. Former precepts = those of The Church-Porch 
which in ed. 1633 immediately precede these lines 
and refer to outward behavior. L. 1-4 are intended 
to be heard ; 1. 5-8 to be read, as an inscription. 
5-8. Herbert has in mind the conditions for enter- 
ing the New Jerusalem, Revelation xxi, 27; He 
brews xii, 14. — Avoid =SLya,unt. So Shakespeare, 
Tempest, iv, 1: "Well done, avoid! No more." 
In both B. and W. there is no punctuation in the 
first Kne, as there is not in the similar case of 
Away despair of The Bag, V, 157, 1. 1. 



Thou, whom the former precepts have 
Sprinkled and taught how to behave 
Thy self in church, approach, and taste 
The churches mysticall repast. 

Avoid, prof anenesse ! Come not here! 
Nothing but holy, pure, and cleare. 
Or that which groneth to be so, 
May at his perill further go. 



Found in W. 

Metre : 

Unique. — Examples of pillars, pyramids, etc., may 
be seen in Puttenham's Art of English Poetry, and 
in Sylvester's Dedications before his Translation 
of Du Bartas. Such fantastic forms were not un- 
known to the decadent late Greek poetry. In 1650 
Hobbes in his letter to Sir W. Davenant speaks 
of him who would "seek glory from a needless 
difficulty and contrive verses into the forms of 
an organ, a hatchet, an egg, an altar, and a pair of 
wings." In 1682 Dry den may have had Herbert 
in mind when in Mac Flecknoe he satirically tells 
Shad well: 

"Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame 
In keen Iambics, but mild Anagram. 
Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command 
Some peaceful province in Acrostic Land, 
There thou mayst wings display and altars raise, 
And torture one poor word ten thousand ways." 


When the heart is whole it asserts itself, forgetful of 
God the author of all its parts. Imitating the sacri- 
ficial example of Christ, and allowing itseK to be 
broken by affliction, it may out of its fragments 
build an altar and make its pains God's praise. 
Notes : 

4. Gf. Exodus XX, 25. 
6. Cf. Zechariah vii, 12. 
14. Cf. Luke xix, 40. 



A BROKEN Altar, Lord, thy servant reares, 
Made of a heart and cemented with teares; 
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame; 
No workman's tool hath touch'd the same. 
A Heart alone 5 

Is such a stone 
As nothing but 
Thy pow'r doth cut. 
Wherefore each part 
Of my hard heart 10 

Meets in this frame 
To praise thy name; 
That if I chance to hold my peace, 
These stones to praise thee may not cease. 
O let thy blessed Sacrifice be mine, 
And sanctifie this A l t a r to be thine. 



The Sacrifice was translated into Latin in 1678 
by William Dillingham. It is Herbert's only dra- 
matic monologue, or poem put entirely into the 
mouth of another. His other dramatic poems are 
the Antiphons, IH, 107, and V, 63 ; Heaven, IV, 
69; Dialogue, IV, 165; Love Unknown, V, 179; 
A Dialogue- Antheime, VI, 103; Love, VI, 147. 
Herbert's series of twenty-one Latin poems, en- 
titled Passio Discerpta, looks like a first sketch of 
The Sacrifice. In Christ's Victorie (1610) Giles 
Fletcher assembles the facts of Christ's death as 
fully, though in a very different metre and temper. 


From the antithetic style, probably one of Herbert's 
eariy pieces. The poem may have been suggested 
by Donne's Lamentations of Jeremiah. 


Unique. Donne often used a three-Hned pentameter 
stanza. Herbert here adds a refrain, — pecuHarly 
serviceable in emphasizing the monotony of suffer- 
ing, — but he has never employed this metre with- 
out refrain. The other poems where he uses a full 
refrain are: Grace, IV, 107; The Pearl, IV, 
177; Home, VI, 85. 


The death of Christ, as containing in its smallest 
incident profound contrasts of outward seeming and 
inner reahty. 2, who am Truth, turn into truth their 
deeds (1. 179). 

ni. THE CHURCH 123 


Oh all ye who passe by, whose eyes and minde 
To worldly things are sharp, but to me blinde, 
To me who took eyes that I might you finde. 
Was ever grief Hke mine ? 

The Princes of my people make a head 5 

Against their Maker; they do wish me dead, 
Who cannot wish except I give them bread. 

Was ever grief hke mine ? 

Without me each one who doth now me brave 
Had to this day been an Egyptian slave. 10 
They use that power against me which I gave. 
Was ever grief hke mine ? 

Mine own Apostle, who the bag did beare. 
Though he had all I had, did not forbeare 
To sell me also and to put me there. 15 

Was ever grief, &c. 


Notes : 

1. Oh all ye who passe by; cf. Lamentations i, 12; 

ii, 15; and Matthew xxvii, 39. 
5. Psalm ii, 2. 
7. Exodus xvi, 1-16. They dishonour him with those 

mouths which he continually fils and feeds : The 

CouNTEY Parson, XXVIII. 

10. Deuteronomy v, 15. 

11. This line well simimarizes the crime of the Cru- 
cifixion as here conceived by Herbert. 

13. John xii, 6. 

17. Matthew xxvi, 15. 

18. John xii, 5. 

21. Deare treasure, i. e. my heart; genitive of appo- 

22. "This is a kind of protest against the Roman Cath- 
olic rosary and its mechanical use. My blood the 
only beads, besides which there is no other : " A. B. 
Grosart. Luke xxii, 44. 

23. Luke xxii, 42. This whole Hne is in apposition to 
My words. 

26. A cure for all mankind, Jews and Gentiles. 
29. Matthew xxvi, 40-43. 
33. Matthew xxvi, 46-57. 


For thirtie pence he did my death devise 
Who at three hundred did the ointment prize, 
Not half so sweet as my sweet sacrifice. 

Was ever grief hke mine ? 

Therefore my soul melts, and my heart's deare 
treasure 21 

Drops bloud (the onely beads) my words to mea- 

O let this cup passe, if it be thy pleasure. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

These drops, being temper'd with a sinner's tears, 
A Balsome are for both the Hemispheres; 26 

Curing all wounds but mine, all but my fears. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Yet my Disciples sleep. I cannot gain 
One houre of watching; but their drowsie brain 
Comforts not me, and doth my doctrine stain. 31 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Arise, arise ! They come. Look, how they runne ! 
Alas! What haste they make to be undone! 
How with their lanterns do they seek the sunne! 
Was ever grief, &c. 36 


38. John xiv, 6. 
41. Luke xxii, 48. 

45. For the laying hold of faith see 1 Timothy vi, 12. 
47. Psahn cxvi, 16 
49. Mark xiv, 50. 
51. Matthew ii, 1, 2. 
53. John xviii, 24. 

55. My explanations of their law, they assert, would 
destroy its meaning. 


With clubs and staves they seek me as a thief 
Who am the way of truth, the true relief; 
Most true to those who are my greatest grief. 
Was ever grief Uke mine ? 

Judas, dost thou betray me with a kisse ? 41 

Canst thou finde hell about my Hps ? And misse 
Of hfe just at the gates of Ufe and bHsse ? 
Was ever grief, &c. 

See, they lay hold on me not with the hands 45 
Of faith, but furie. Yet at their commands 
I suffer binding, who have loos'd their bands. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

All my Disciples flie; fear puts a barre 49 

Betwixt my friends and me. They leave the starre 
That brought the wise men of the East from farre. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Then from one ruler to another bound 
They leade me; urging that it was not sound 
What I taught. Comments would the text con- 
found. 55 
Was ever grief, &c. 


57. The High Priest, Matthew xxvi, 59. 
59. Acts viii, 32. 

62. John X, 33. 

63. PhiKppians ii, 6. 

65. John ii, 19. 

66. Raz% and raised. Cf . The Temper, IV, 109, 1. 7. 
71. " Thus Adam, i. e. the offspring of Adam's loins, 

returns my grant of breath to him. Genesis ii, 7 : " 
A. B. Grosart. Cf. Prater, III, 181, 1. 2. 

74. Luke xxiii, 11, 12. 

75. My enmitie= enmity to me. 


The Priest and rulers all false witnesse seek 
'Gainst him who seeks not Kfe, but is the meek 
And readie Paschal Lambe of this great week. 
Was ever grief Uke mine ? 

Then they accuse me of great blasphemie, 61 
That I did thrust into the Deitie, 
Who never thought that any robberie. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Some said that I the Temple to the floore 65 

In three dayes raz'd, and raised as before. 
Why, he that built the world can do much more. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Then they condemne me all with that same breath 
Which I do give them daily, unto death. 70 

Thus Adam my first breathing rendereth. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

They binde, and leade me unto Herod. He 
Sends me to Pilate. This makes them agree; 
But yet their friendship is my enmitie. 75 

Was ever grief, &c. 


78. Psalm cxliv, 1. 

79. Onely= alone. — Isaiah vi, 5. 

86. Vying used transitively = matching. So Shake- 
speare, Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2 : "To vie strange 
forms with fancy." 

90. A similar phrase in 1. 211. 

94. Genesis viii, 9. Cf. The Search, V, 219, 1. 20. 


Herod and all his bands do set me light 
Who teach all hands to warre, fingers to fight, 
And onely am the Lord of hosts and might. 

Was ever grief Hke mine ? 

Herod in judgement sits, while I do stand; 81 
Examines me with a censorious hand. 
I him obey, who all things else command. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

The Jews accuse me with despitefulnesse, 85 
And vying maHce with my gentlenesse. 
Pick quarrels with their onely happinesse. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

I answer nothing, but with patience prove 
If stonie hearts will melt with gentle love. 90 
But who does hawk ^at eagles with a dove ? 
Was ever grief, &c. 

My silence rather doth augment their crie; 
My dove doth back into my bosome flie. 
Because the raging waters still are high. 95 
Was ever grief, &c. 


98. Acts xxii, 22. Cf. Prayer, III, 185, 1. 14. 

99. John viii, 58. 
102. Luke xxiii, 18. 

106. My life = the taking of my life. 

107. Matthew xxvii, 25. 
110. John viii, 12. 
113. Luke xxiii, 19. 

115. It, i.e. murder (1. 113), was naturally approved by 
those who killed me. 

m. THE CHURCH 133 

Heark how they crie aloud still, Crucifie I 
It is not fit he live a day, they crie, 
Who cannot Hve lesse then eternally. 99 

Was ever grief like mine ? 

Pilate, a stranger, holdeth off; but they. 
Mine owne deare people, cry. Away, away! 
With noises confused frighting the day. 

Was ever grief, &c. 104 

Yet still they shout and crie and stop their eares. 
Putting my life among their sinnes and fears. 
And therefore with my hloud on them and theirs. 
Was ever grief, &c. 108 

See how spite cankers things. These words, aright 
Used and wished, are the whole world's Kght; 
But hony is their gall, brightnesse their night. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

They choose a murderer, and all agree 
In him to do themselves a courtesie; 
For it was their own cause who killed me. 115 
Was ever grief, &c. 


118. Isaiah ix, 6; Philippians iv, 7. 

119. Doth glasse=Ao\h. reflect. 

121. John xix, 15. 

122. iJe= their real king, Jehovah, — a very violent 
transition. Numbers xx, 8. 

125. Matthew xxvii, 26. 

127. Their bitterness adds to my grief the mystery of 
love repaid by hate. Cf. 1. 11. 

129. Mark xiv, 65. 

130. Proverbs xxx, 4, and Psalm xcv, 4. 
135. John ix, 6. 

m. THE CHURCH 135 

And a seditious murderer he was, 
But I the Prince of peace; peace that doth passe 
All understanding, more then heav'n doth glasse. 
Was ever grief like mine ? 

Why, Cesar is their onely King, not I. 121 

He clave the stonie rock when they were drie; 
But surely not their hearts, as I well trie. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Ah, How they scourge me ! Yet my tendernesse 
Doubles each lash, and yet their bitternesse 126 
Windes up my grief to a mysteriousnesse. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

They buffet me and box me as they Ust, 129 

Who grasp the earth and heaven with my fist, 
And never yet, whom I would punish, miss'd. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Behold, they spit on me in scomfuU wise 
Who by my spittle gave the bhnde man eies. 
Leaving his blindnesse to mine enemies. 135 

Was ever grief, &c. 


137. Luke xxii, 64. 

138. Exodus xxxiv, 33; 2 Corinthians iii, 13. 

139. Either ; either the Law or the Gospel. 

142. Matthew xxvi, 68. — DiUie ((iictatum)=cry, woFds 
which are usually intended to be set to music, as in 
The Banquet, V, 57, 1. 50; Providence, V, 79, 
1. 9; The Forerunners, VI, 77, 1. 11. 

149. Luke xxiii, 28. 

150. Luke xxii, 44. 
153. Matthew xxvii, 27. 
155. Matthew xxvi, 53. 


My face they cover, though it be divine. 
As Moses' face was vailed, so is mine, 138 

Lest on their double-dark souls either shine. 
Was ever grief like mine ? 

Servants and abjects flout me; they are wittie: 
Now prophesie who strikes thee, is their dittie. 
So they in me denie themselves all pitie. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

And now I am dehver'd unto death, 145 

Which each one cals for so with utmost breath 
That he before me well nigh suffereth. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Weep not, deare friends, since I for both have wept 
When all my tears were bloud, the while you slept. 
Your tears for your own fortunes should be kept. 
Was ever grief, &c. 152 

The souldiers lead me to the common hall; 
There they deride me, they abuse me all. 
Yet for twelve heav'nly legions I could call. 155 
Was ever grief, &c. 


157. Matthew xxvii, 28. 

158. Shews by its scarlet color. 

159. A cordiall is also mentioned in Whitsunday, III, 
159, 1. 18, Sighs and Grones, VI, 39, 1. 28, and 
The Knell, VI, 153, 1. 17. 

163. Isaiah v, 1-7. 

165. Genesis iii, 18, and Matthew xxvii, 29. 

167. r^mZZ= bondage, as in The Church-Porch, 
III, 27, 1. 118, and 49, 1. 286. 

170. 1 Corinthians x, 4; see also note on Love Un- 
known, V, 179, 1. 14. 

m. THE CHURCH 139 

Then with a scarlet robe they me aray; 
Which shews my bloud to be the onely way 
And cordiall left to repair man's decay. 159 

Was ever grief like mine ? 

Then on my head a crown of thorns I wear; 
For these are all the grapes Sion doth bear. 
Though I my vine planted and watred there. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

So sits the earth's great curse in Adam's fall 165 
Upon my head. So I remove it all 
From th' earth unto my brows, and bear the 

Was ever grief, &c. 

Then with the reed they gave to me before 
They strike my head, the rock from whence all 
store 170 

Of heav'nly blessings issue evermore. 

Was ever grief, &c. 

They bow their knees to me and cry, Hail king ! 
What ever scoflFes or scomfulnesse can bring, 
I am the floore, the sink, where they it fling. 175 
Was ever grief, &c. 


178. Weeds, i. e. garments. 

179. They intend their Hail King, their sceptres, 
crowns, and robes to be false. They prove to be 

182. 1 Peter i, 12. 

183. Luke x, 24. 

185. Rout=Tahhley crowd. 

186. Luke xxiii, 21. 

187. Isaiah Ixiv, 12. 

190. Matthew xxvii, 31. 

191. Matthew viii, 31. 

193. Ingrosse^io heap up. So Shakespeare, 2 Henry 
IV,iv, 5: 

"For this they have engrossd and piled up 
The canker'd heaps of strange-achieved gold." 

m. THE CHURCH 141 

Yet since man's scepters are as frail as reeds, 
And thorny all their crowns, bloudie their weeds, 
I, who am Truth, turn into truth their deeds. 
Was ever grief Uke mine ? 

The souldiers also spit upon that face 181 

Which Angels did desire to have the grace. 
And Prophets, once to see, but found no place. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Thus trimmed, forth they bring me to the rout, 185 
Who Criicifie him! crie with one strong shout. 
God holds his peace at man, and man cries out. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

They leade me in once more, and putting then 
Mine own clothes on, they leade me out agen. 190 
Whom devils flie, thus is he toss'd of men. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

And now wearie of sport, glad to ingrosse 
All spite in one, counting my Ufe their losse. 
They carrie me to my most bitter crosse. 195 

Was ever grief, &c. 


198. Matthew xxvii, 32. 

199. Matthew xvi, 24. 

202. Fruit, Genesis iii, 3-6. 

203. Tree, i. e. the cross. Galatians iii, 13. 

206. Th' two, i. e. the worlds of nature and of sin. 

207. Words, Psahn xxxiii, 6. 

215. Matthew xxvii, 46. Through stress of feehng the 
Kne is left unfinished. Cf. Deniall, IV, 93, 1. 5. 


My crosse I bear my self untill I faint. 
Then Simon bears it for me by constraint, 
The decreed burden of each mortall Saint. 199 
Was ever grief like mine ? 

all ye who passe by, behold and see I 

Man stole the fruit, but I must climbe the tree; 

The tree of hfe to all but onely me. 

Was ever grief, &c. 204 

Lo, here I hang, charg'd with a worid of sinne, 
The greater worid o' th' two; for that came in 
By words, but this by sorrow I must win. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Such sorrow as, if sinfuU man could feel 209 

Or feel his part, he would not cease to kneel 
Till all were melted, though he were all steel. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

But, my God, my God I why leav*st thou me, 
The Sonne, in whom thou dost deUght to be ? 

My God, my God 215 

Never was grief like mine. 


217. Many a wound tears my body. 

219. ReprocheSy perhaps in apposition to shame. Cf. 

1. 217, and certainly referring to 1. 221. 
221. Luke iv, 23, and Matthew xxvii, 40, 42. 
229. Matthew xxvii, 38. 
231. Ephesians iv, 8. 
233. Matthew xxvii, 37. 
235. Isaiah liii, 9. 


Shame tears my soul, my bodie many a wound; 
Sharp nails pierce this, but sharper that confound ; 
Reproches, which are free, while I am bound. 
Was ever grief Hke mine ? 

^Now heal thy self. Physician, now come down I 
Alas! I did so, when I left my crown 222 

And father's smile for you, to feel his frown. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

In healing not my self, there doth consist 225 
All that salvation which ye now resist; 
Your safetie in my sicknesse doth subsist. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Betwixt two theeves I spend my utmost breath. 
As he that for some robberie suffereth. 230 

Alas ! what have I stollen from you ? Death. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

A king my title is, prefixt on high; 
Yet by my subjects am condemn'd to die 
A servile death in servile companie. 235 

Was ever grief, &c. 


238. Matthew xxvii, 34. 

239. Psalm Ixxviii, 24, 25. Manna is mentioned again 
in Prayer, HI, 181, 1. 10. 

241. Matthew xxvii, 35. 

243. Mark t, 27. 

245. "That some person may still be speaking, these 

two last stanzas are brought in by way of prophecy; 

for it had been an absurdity to have introduced 

him speaking when he was dead:" G. Ryley. 
247. As sinne came. Genesis ii, 21. — Sacraments, John 

xix, 34, and Matthew xxvi, 28. 

m. THE CHURCH 147 

They gave me vineger mingled with gall, 
But more with malice. Yet when they did call, 
With Manna, Angels' food, I fed them all. 239 
Was ever grief like mine ? 

They part my garments and by lot dispose 
My coat, the type of love, which once cur'd those 
Who sought for help, never maHcious foes. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

Nay, after death their spite shall further go; 245 
For they will pierce my side, I full well know, 
That as sinne came, so Sacraments might flow. 
Was ever grief, &c. 

But now I die, now all is finished; 
My wo, man's weal. And now I bow my head. 
Onely let others say, when I am dead, 251 

Never was grief Uke mine. 



Found in W. and there entitled The Passion. 

Metre : 

Used with different rhyming system in The 
Method, V, 197. The metre of the second part, 
beginning at 1. 21, is used in Superliminare, III, 


How many are the sorrows of Christ! They are 
as many as are his foes, the stars, the leaves and 
fruits of autumn, the hours or sins of a life. If 
inscribed on my heart, they would leave no room 
for sin. 


1. Matthew ii, 9. 
8. All= all the stars. 
12. John XV, 1. 

19. "As the dog knows his medicinable herb; or as the 
weasel was said to suck *rue' before encountering 
a mole; or the mingoos its herb when bitten by a 
snake, — both erroneous, but the latter, until very 
lately, beheved to be a well-proved fact:'* A. B. 
Grosart. Cf. Sunday, III, 177, 1. 38. 

m. THE CHURCH 149 


O MY chief good, 
How shall I measure out thy bloud ? 
How shall I count what thee befell. 

And each grief tell ? 

Shall I thy woes 6 

Number according to thy foes ? 
Or, since one starre show'd thy first breath. 

Shall all thy death ? 

Or shall each leaf 
Which falls in Autumne score a grief ? 10 
Or cannot leaves, but fruit, be signe 

Of the true vine ? 

Then let each houre 
Of my whole life one grief devoure; 
That thy distresse through all may runne. 

And be my sunne. 16 

Or rather let 
My severall sinnes their sorrows get; 
That as each beast his cure doth know. 

Each sinne may so. 20 


21. In W. this second part of Good Friday is printed 
separately under the title, The Passion. I have not 
separated the two, partly because B. and ed. 1633 
— which are later — combine them, and partly 
because Herbert is fond of thus appending a lyrical 
passage to a reflective poem. So Easter, III, 153; 
Christmas, III, 167; H. Communion, III, 195; 
An Offering, IV, 189. 

22. The bloudie fight is the agony of the cross. Bloudie 
battell it is called in Praise, V, 47, 1. 35. Fight 
in this sense of personal agony is strange to us, 
but Vaughan employs it in his Faith: 

"Then did He shine forth whose sad fall 
And bitter fights 
Were figur'd in those mystical 
And cloudy rites." 

23. Store of blood, the fittest ink for such a record. 
32. The writings referred to in 1. 21 and 23. 

m. THE CHURCH 151 

Since bloud is fittest, Lord, to write 
Thy sorrows in and bloudie fight; 
My heart hath store, write there, where in 
One box doth He both ink and sinne. 

That when sinne spies so many foes, 25 

Thy whips, thy nails, thy wounds, thy woes, 
All come to lodge there, sinne may say, 
No room for me, and flie away. 

Sinne being gone, oh fill the place 

And keep possession with thy grace! 30 

Lest sinne take courage and return. 

And all the writings blot or bum. 



Found in W. 


Used also in The Storm, VI, 23. The metre of 
the song, beginning at 1. 19, is used also in The 
Quidditie, III, 97, and The Quip, V, 33. 


The day of gladness. 

Notes : 

5. The reference may be to Colossians ii, 12, — 
"Buried Ysdth him in baptism;" but probably the 
thought is compHcated by remembering how a 
metal, in order to be rendered pure, is reduced to 

6. And may make thee much more, i. e. just. 

8. After 1. 8 he goes on to explain why each part of the 
lute should awake and strive. Hence I follow Dr. 
Grosart and punctuate (:), not (.), as is usually 
15-18. The common chord consists of three notes, i. e. 
any tone with its third and fifth. Herbert conceives 
all music to be made up by contrasts and repetitions 
of such chords. If, then, in our song only heart and 
lute combine, the chord will still be incomplete 
without the Spirit's part. Romans viii, 26. 

in. THE CHURCH 153 


Rise, heart, thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise 
Without delay es, 

Who takes thee by the hand, that thou Hkewise 
With him mayst rise; 

That, as his death calcined thee to dust, 5 

His Hfe may make thee gold, and much more just. 

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part 
With all thy art: 

The crosse taught all wood to resound his name 
Who bore the same; 10 

His streched sinews taught all strings what key 

Is best to celebrate this most high day. 

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song 
Pleasant and long. 

Or, since all musick is but three parts vied 15 
And multiplied, 

O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part. 

And make up our defects with his sweet art. 


19. Straw thy way. Same phrase in Affliction, IV, 
137, 1. 21. Cf. Matthew xxi, 8. This is the smg 
planned in 1. 13, and has, as there proposed, three 

26. They would be presumptuous to compare what they 
bring with what Easter brings. 

29. All the three hundred days of the year (for so in 
round numbers we may reckon them) get their 
significance from this single day. 

m. THE CHURCH 155 

I got me flowers to straw thy way, 

I got me boughs off many a tree, 20 

But thou wast up by break of day. 

And brought'st thy sweets along with thee. 

The Sunne arising in the East, 

Though he give Ught, and th* East perfume, 
If they should offer to contest 25 

With thy arising, they presume. 

Can there be any day but this, 

Though many sunnes to shine endeavour? 
We count three hundred, but we misse; 

There is but one, and that one ever. 30 


Introductory : 

" We then celebrate the performance of the promise 
which he made to his disciples at or before his 
ascension; namely, 'that though he left them, yet 
he would send them the Holy Ghost to be their 
comforter;* and he did so on that day which the 
Church calls Whitsunday:'* Walton's Life. 

Date : 

Found in W. 

Metre : 



A longing for direct enlightenment, such as once 
came in tongues of fire. Cf . Decay, V, 115. 

Notes : 

1. The Holy Spirit which first appeared to Jesus as 
a dove, Matthew iii, 16, appeared to his disciples 
after his death as fire. Acts ii, 3. 

1-4. Vaughan imitates this in Disorder and Frailty: 

" O yes! But give wings to my fire, 
And hatch my soul, until it fly 
Up where Thou art, amongst thy tire 
Of stars, above infirmity." 

3. Hatching =hroo^ng. The heart thought of as an 
egg, incapable of motion till the Holy Spirit gives it 
fife. Psalm Iv, 6. 

7. Whoever wished might come directly to thee. 



Listen, sweet Dove, unto my song 
And spread thy golden wings in me; 
Hatching my tender heart so long. 
Till it get wing and flie away with thee. 

Where is that fire which once descended 5 
On thy Apostles ? Thou didst then 
Keep open house, richly attended. 
Feasting all comers by twelve chosen men. 

Such glorious gifts thou didst bestow 
That th' earth did hke a heav'n appeare; 10 
The starres were coming down to know 
If they might mend their wages and serve here. 


14. Cf. MiSERiE, IV, 49, 1. 33. 

17. The fi'pes are the Apostles, the conductors of the 
reviving grace of Christ to us (Zechariah iv, 12). 
Cf. The Jews, V, 109, 1. 3. Since their day direct 
manifestations of the Holy Spirit have ceased. 

20. Can their be a misprint for his ? It would then 
mean that the Apostles were martyred by men who 
really dealt themselves a blow in piercing the side 
of Christ. Possibly, however, the text is correct, 
and it may mean that by stabbing the Apostles 
men injured themselves. 

23. jBmi;e5= bravadoes. So Shakespeare, Taming of 
the Shrew, iii, 1: "Sirrah, I will not bear these 
braves of thine." Only on special occasions does 
God now intervene. 

28. Its right of direct access to thee, 1. 7. 


The sunne, which once did shine alone, 
Hung down his head and wisht for night, 
When he beheld twelve sunnes for one 15 
Going about the world and giving Ught. 

But since those pipes of gold, which brought 
That cordiall water to our ground, 
Were cut and martyr'd by the fault 
Of those who did themselves through their side 
wound, 20 

Thou shutt'st the doore and keep'st within. 
Scarce a good joy creeps through the chink; 
And if the braves of conqu'ring sinne 
Did not excite thee, we should wholly sink. 

Lord, though we change, thou art the same; 
The same sweet God of love and light. 26 

Restore this day, for thy great name, 
Unto his ancient and miraculous right. 


Introductory : 

Another poem with this title is given, VI, 149. 


Found in W. 


Used also in Paradise, V, 39. 


On Trinity Sunday the divine Ufe presents itself in 
threefold aspects: God as Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost; by creation, redemption, sanctification; in- 
duces man to be purged, confess, strive; with heart, 
mouth, hands; in faith, hope, charity; through 
running, rising, resting. With Herbert the subject 
usually dictates the form, — here three stanzas of 
three Hues each. 

Notes : 

1. Genesis ii, 7. 

5. (Score = account, indebtedness, as in The Church- 
Porch, III, 57, 1. 360. 

m. THE CHURCH 161 


Lord, who hast form'd me out of mud, 
And hast redeem'd me through thy bloud. 
And sanctifi'd me to do good, 

Purge all my sinnes done heretofore; 
For I confesse my heavie score. 
And I will strive to sinne no more. 

Enrich my heart, mouth, hands in me, 
With faith, with hope, with charitie. 
That I may runne, rise, rest with thee. 



Found in W. 

Metre : 



We refuse worship to angels and saints not because 
they are unworthy, but because worship of them is 

Notes : 

1. "Probably Herbert means according to all your 
orders of precedency : nine orders of angels, of 
whom seraphim are nighest the throne and Pre- 
sence; and among saints — apostles, prophets, 
martyrs, etc.:" A. B. Grosart. 
5. Revelation iv, 4 and 10. In cathedral sculpture 
the saints who have been beheaded often hold in 
their hands both head and crown. 
12. Alluding to the common beUef that gold, being pre- 
cious as a metal, must be precious also as a medi- 
cine. So Donne, Elegy xi, 112: "Gold is restora- 
tive." And Sir T. Browne, Vulgar Errors, Bk. II, 
ch. iv. 

m. THE CHURCH 163 


Oh glorious spirits, who after all your bands 
See the smooth face of God without a frown 

Or strict commands; 
Where ev'ry one is king, and hath his crown 

If not upon his head, yet in his hands; 5 

Not out of envie or mahciousnesse 

Do I forbear to crave your speciall aid. 

I would addresse 
My vows to thee most gladly, blessed Maid, 

And Mother of my God, in my distresse. 10 

Thou art the holy mine whence came the gold. 

The great restorative for all decay 
In young and old. 

Thou art the cabinet where the Jewell lay; 
Chiefly to thee would I my soul unfold. 15 


19. Injundion=a command to do; and not, as is 
usual with us, a command not to do. 

21. Prerogative, an adjective, not a substantive = au- 
thoritatively prescribed. 

23. The last houre=ih.e day of judgment. 

24. Cf. A Wreath, IV, 115, 1. 1. 

25. Po5ie= bunch of flowers. Cf. The Thanksgiv- 
ing, IV, 83, 1. 14. 

30. iland= writing, command, authority. 


But now (alas!) I dare not, for our King, 
Whom we do all joyntly adore and praise. 

Bids no such thing; 
And where his pleasure no injunction layes, 

('T is your own case) ye never move a wing. 20 

All worship is prerogative, and a flower 

Of his rich crown from whom lyes no appeal 

At the last houre. 
Therefore we dare not from his garland steal 

To make a posie for inferiour power. 25 

Although then others court you, if ye know 
What's done on earth, we shall not fare the 

Who do not so; 
Since we are ever ready to disburse, 
If any one our Master's hand can show. 30 



Called in W. Christmas-day. 


Found in W. He counts himself already a poet, 
1. 17. 


Of seventeen sonnets, six — like this — are in the 
Shakespearian form. 


The thought in this Sonnet is wayward, each phase 
successively suggesting some new phase. Its course 
is something like this: Tired with my hunt after 
pleasure, I turned to whatever offered rest. It 
proved to be my Lord's inn. There he was once 
born among the beasts, and since he does not dread 
what is brutish, let him make of my heart a better 
lodging than he ever found at birth or death. 

Notes : 

3. The whole pack of my clamorous desires mislead- 
ing me. 
6. Expecting =waitmg with confidence. So Hebrews 
X, 13. 
14. Rack =ih.e hay-rack or manger in which the child 
Jesus lay. 

m. THE CHURCH 167 


All after pleasures as I rid one day, 

My horse and I both tir'd, bodie and minde, 
With full crie of affections quite astray, 

I took up in the next inne I could finde. 
There when I came, whom found I but my deare, 

My dearest Lord, expecting till the grief 6 

Of pleasures brought me to him, readie there 

To be all passengers' most sweet rehef ? 
O Thou, whose glorious yet contracted Hght, 

Wrapt in night's mantle, stole into a manger, 
Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right, 11 

To Man of all beasts be not thou a stranger. 
Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst 

A better lodging then a rack, or grave. 


Metre : 

Subject : 

Rivalry of man and nature in praise. But there 
is throughout an allegoric meaning too: daylight 
signifying the light of God's countenance, and 
night the times of its withdrawal. 
Notes : 
15. Luke ii. 20. 

19. Psalm cxix, 103; and xlvi, 4. 
25. We=jnjse]i and the sun. — He=ihe sun, who, 
though called to praise our common Lord, deserts 
me when I would out-sing the daylight hours. 

31. Our own day=a, day made by ourselves, that shall 
have no night. 

32. By such a responsive song as Antiphon, III, 106. 

m. THE CHURCH 169 

The shepherds sing, and shall I silent be ? 15 

My God, no hymne for thee ? 
My soul's a shepherd too; a flock it feeds 

Of thoughts, and words, and deeds. 
The pasture is thy word; the streams, thy grace 

Enriching all the place. 20 

Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers 

Out-sing the day-light houres. 
Then we will chide the sunne for letting night 

Take up his place and right. 
We sing one common Lord; wherefore he should 

Himself the candle hold. 26 

I will go searching, till I finde a sunne 

Shall stay till we have done, 
A wilHng shiner, that shall shine as gladly 

As frost-nipt sunnes look sadly. 30 

Then we will sing and shine all our own day. 

And one another pay. 
His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine 
Till ev'n his beams sing and my musick shine. 

170 LENT 


Found in W. 

Metre : 

Used also in Life, VI, 81. 


The praise of abstinence, as both beneficial to us 
and prescribed by the Church. 


4. Leviticus xxiii, 14; Matthew vi, 16; Luke v, 35. 
6. "Le., obedience to rules and regulations. Corpora- 
tion is corporate bodies generally, whether munici- 
pal or a company : " A. B. Grosart. 
10. Things which use hath justly ^of = matters pro- 
perly directed by usage. 
16. Church authority, which ordinarily prescribes tem- 
perance on Fast Days, may on occasion set it aside. 
The occasions are considered in The Country 
Parson, X. Perhaps these quahfying fines were 
added with a remembrance of some such experience 
on the part of Herbert himself, as he declares in a 
begging letter to his stepfather (Cambridge, 1617) : 
This Lent I am forbid utterly to eat any fishy so that 
I am fain to dyet in my chamber at mine own cost ; 
for in our publicJc halls, you know, is nothing but 
fish and white-meats; out of Lent also twice a week, 
on Fridayes and Saturdays, I must do so, which yet 
sometimes I fast. 
23. Dishonest =w}uch. do not belong to our nature. 

m. THE CHURCH 171 


Welcome, deare feast of Lent! Who loves not 

He loves not Temperance or Authoritie, 

But is composed of passion. 
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church sayes, now; 
Give to thy Mother what thou wouldst allow 5 

To ev'ry Corporation. 

The humble soul, compos'd of love and fear, 
Begins at home and layes the burden there, 

When doctrines disagree. 
He sayes, in things which use hath justly got, 10 
I am a scandall to the Church, and not 

The Church is so to me. 

True Christians should be glad of an occasion 
To use their temperance, seeking no evasion 

When good is seasonable; 15 

Unlesse Authoritie, which should increase 
The obUgation in us, make it lesse. 

And Power it self disable. 

Besides the cleannesse of sweet abstinence. 
Quick thoughts and motions at a small expense, 

A face not fearing Hght; 21 

Whereas in fulnesse there are sluttish fumes, 
Sowre exhalations, and dishonest rheumes. 

Revenging the delight. 

172 LENT 

19-24. Cornaro, in his Treatise on Temperance, trans- 
lated by Herbert, describes in these words the 
benefits which at the age of eighty-three he experi- 
ences as the result of his extreme abstinence: "I 
am continually in health, and I am so nimble that I 
can easily get on horseback without the advantage 
of the ground, and sometimes I go up high stairs 
and hills on foot. . . . By which it is evident that 
the life which I live at this age is not a dead, dump- 
ish and sower Hfe, but chearful, Kvely, and pleasant. 
Neither if I had my wish, would I change age and 
constitution with them who follow their youthful 

25. In the previous verse the profits were mentioned 
which come to our body and mind through fasting, 
Here we are reminded of religious gains, pendant 
on these and adding goodness to wise abstinence, 
which arise through following the intimations of the 
Christian Year. Possibly there is also in pendant 
the suggestion of hanging like fruits. 

31. Matthew iv, 2. 

35. Matthew v, 48. 

46. Let us be bounteous to the wayfarer and not to our 
private selves. Isaiah Iviii, 7. 

m. THE CHURCH 173 

Then those same pendant profits, which the spring 
And Easter intimate, enlarge the thing 26 

And goodnesse of the deed. 
Neither ought other men's abuse of Lent 
Spoil the good use, lest by that argument 

We forfeit all our Creed. 30 

It's true we cannot reach Christ's forti'th day; 
Yet to go part of that reHgious way 

Is better then to rest. 
We cannot reach our Saviour's puritie; 
Yet are we bid. Be holy ev^n as he. 35 

In both let's do our best. 

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone, 
Is much more sure to meet with him then one 

That travelleth by-wayes. 
Perhaps my God, though he be farre before, 40 
May turn and take me by the hand, and more 

May strengthen my decayes. 

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast 
By starving sinne, and taking such repast 

As may our faults controU; 45 
That ev'ry man may re veil at his doore. 
Not in his parlour; banquetting the poore, 

And among those his soul. 


Introductory : 

Vaughan's Son-days is a composite of this poem and 
Prayer, III, 183. Here and in the precepts for Sun- 
day included in The Church-Porch (III, 61, 63, 
65, 67, 1.391-450) Herbert shows himself no Sabba- 
tarian. His thoughts are confined to the reverent 
observance of pubhc worship. As S. R. Gardiner 
observes (History of England, vol. iii, p. 250), Her- 
bert "celebrates the joys and duties of the great 
Christian festival through two whole pages. Of 
behaviour out of church he has not a single word 
to say." In The Country Parson, VIII, after 
detaihng the parson's priestly work on Sunday, 
he adds. At night he thinks it a very fit time, both 
sutahle to the joy of the day and without hinderance 
to publick duties, either to entertaine some of his 
neighbours or to be entertained of them. 

Date : 

Found in W. 

Metre : 


Subject : 

The pomp and splendor of the Lord's Day. 

Notes : 

1. Vertue, VI, 95, has a similar opening. 



O DAY most calm, most bright, 
The fruit of this, the next world's bud, 
Th' indorsement of supreme delight, 
Writ by a friend, and with his bloud; 

The couch of time, care's balm and bay, 5 
The week were dark but for thy light: 
Thy torch doth show the way. 

The other dayes and thou 
Make up one man, whose face thou art, 

Knocking at heaven with thy brow. 10 

The worky-daies are the back-part; 

The burden of the week Ues there. 
Making the whole to stoup and bow 
Till thy release appeare. 

Man had straight forward gone 15 
To endlesse death; but thou dost pull 

And turn us round to look on one 
Whom, if we were not very dull. 

We could not choose but look on still; 
Since there is no place so alone 20 

The which he doth not fill. 


5. Care's balm and bay=ca,Ye*s cure (cf. An Offer- 
ing, IV, 191, 1. 19, where balsam, the longer form 
of balm, is used) and crown (cf. The Collar, V, 
211, 1. 14). Or does he in bay refer to the old 
superstition that bay-leaves protect against light- 
ning? — a superstition examined by Sir T. Browne 
in his Vulgar Errors, Bk. II, ch. v. 
7. Psalm cxix, 105. 

12. Figuring the week as one composite person, we 
must not allow its overburdened back-part to de- 
press its upward-turned face. 

14. Till the release which thou bringest appear. 

26. 3^/1^2/= Sundays. 

29. Walton says that Herbert sang this stanza the Sun- 
day before he died. 

31. WiJe=iloie Church; cf. Revelation xxi, 9. 

37. The Lord's Day has taken the place of the Jewish 

38. Isaiah i, 3. A line almost identical with this occurs 
in Good Friday, III, 149, 1. 19. 

42. Sundays bring heahng to those afflicted by sin. 
Cf. Man, IV, 15, 1. 23. 

m. THE CHURCH 177 

Sundaies the pillars are 
On which heav'ns palace arched lies: 

The other dayes fill up the spare 
And hollow room with vanities. 25 

They are the fruitfull beds and borders 
In God's rich garden; that is bare 

Which parts their ranks and orders. 

The Sundaies of man's Hfe, 
Thredded together on time's string, 30 

Make bracelets to adorn the wife 
Of the eternall glorious King. 

On Sunday heaven's gate stands ope, 
Blessings are plentifull and rife, 

More plentifull then hope. 35 

This day my Saviour rose, 
And did inclose this light for his; 

That, as each beast his manger knows, 
Man might not of his fodder misse. 

Christ hath took in this piece of ground, 40 
And made a garden there for those 

Who want herbs for their wound. 


45. Sunday, the day of the rising of our Lord, attended 
by the earthquake (Matthew xxvii, 51), sets aside 
all the other days employed in creation. 

47. Judges xvi, 3. "As Samson took away the gates of 
the city, so Christ took away the Judaical rites, 
unhinging their Sabbath day : " G. Ryley. 

49. Unhinge = earned away from previous uses. 

53. Revelation vii, 14. * 

m. THE CHURCH 179 

The rest of our Creation 
Our great Redeemer did remove 

With the same shake which at his passion 45 
Did th' earth and all things with it move. 

As Samson bore the doores away, 
Christ's hands, though nail'd,, wrought our salva- 

And did unhinge that day. 

The brightnesse of that day 50 

We sulHed by our foul offence; 

Wherefore that robe we cast away, 
Having a new at his expence 

Whose drops of bloud paid the full price 
That was requir'd to make us gay, 55 

And fit for Paradise. 

Thou art a day of mirth; 
And where the week-day es trail on ground. 

Thy flight is higher, as thy birth. 
O let me take thee at the bound, 60 

Leaping with thee from sev'n to sev'n. 
Till that we both, being toss'd from earth, 
Fhe hand in hand to heav'n! 


Date : 

Found in W. 
Metre : 

Of seventeen sonnets, eleven — like this — depart 

in the third quatrain from the Shakespearian form. 
Subject : 

Prayer a world power. 
Notes : 

1. Churches banquet =YTh2ii the Church feeds on. — 
AngeVs age, — Prayer is as old as the angels. 

2. To God who gave us breath (Genesis ii, 7), we in 
prayer return it. 

3. In paraphrase =m epitome. As a man prays, so 
is he. — In pilgrimage =moymg toward its goal. 

5. Engine against th' Almightie, i. e. prayer wrests 
from God for our aid power which would otherwise 
be directed against us. The three following charac- 
terizations expand this idea. — Sinner's towre—B. 
place of both refuge and attack. Psalm xviii, 2. 

6. The working of thunder is from heaven to earth; 
prayer works from earth to heaven. The former 
overwhelms; the latter preserves. 

7. It upsets in an hour by its magic that regulated 
order which God required six days to establish. 
Or, The six-daies-world may be the week-day world. 

11. Heaven in ordinarie=}ieayeii in common life. 
— Well dresty i. e. the opposite of The Church- 
Porch, m, 63, 1. 414. 

14. Prayer finds in the world an intelligible order. 

m. THE CHURCH 181 


Prayer the Churches banquet, Angel's age, 
God's breath in man returning to his birth, 
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage. 

The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth; 

Engine against th' Almightie, sinner's towre, 5 
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear. 

The six-daies-world transposing in an houre, 
A kinde of tune which all things heare and fear; 

Softnesse and peace and joy and love and blisse, 
Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best, 10 

Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest, 

The milkie way, the bird of Paradise, 

Church-bels beyond the starres heard, the soul's 

The land of spices; something understood. 



Found in W. 

Metre : 

Unique. Rhyming system changes in the final 

Subject : 

God's accessibility, power, and love, revealed in 
prayer, make prayer immeasurably precious. 

Notes : 

4. Stoie=stateliness. — Easinesse, a remembrance of 

the " easy to be entreated " of James iii, 17. 
9. Herbert uses the word sphere nine times. Once 
(Church Militant, VI, 129, 1. 142) it means a 
field of action. Once (Man, IV, 15, 1. 22) it may 
possibly mean our earth. In all other cases, e. g. 
DiviNiTiE, V, 97, 1. 2; Vanitie, V, 133, 1. 2, it 
means one of the nine concentric hollow crystal 
spheres which in the Ptolemaic astronomy are sup- 
posed successively to form circumferences for our 
globe, and to be the means of carrying the heav- 
enly bodies through their orbits. When the highest 
sphere is referred to (as here, The Church-Porch, 
III, 51, 1. 318, and The Search, V, 219,1. 6), the 
sphere of the crystalhne Heaven is intended, the 
circumference farthest removed from the earth, its 

m. THE CHURCH 183 


Of what an easie quick accesse, 
My blessed Lord, art thou! How suddenly 

May our requests thine eare invade! 
To shew that state dislikes not easinesse, 
If I but Uft mine eyes my suit is made; 5 

Thou canst no more not heare then thou canst die. 

Of what supreme almightie power 
Is thy great arm, which spans the east and west 

And tacks the centre to the sphere! 
By it do all things live their measured houre. 10 
We cannot ask the thing which is not there, 
Blaming the shallownesse of our request. 


10. Psalm civ, 19. 

11-12. Condensed lines, meaning: The failm-e of our 

prayers can never be due to our having foolishly 

asked God for that which is not in his power to 

14. Also in 1. 6, and The Sacrifice, III, 133, 1. 99. 
17. Our sins previously hindered God from giving us 

the blessings He desired to give. 


Of what unmeasureable love 
Art thou possest who, when thou couldst not die, 

Wert fain to take our flesh and curse 15 

And for our sakes in person sinne reprove. 
That by destrojdng that which ty'd thy purse. 
Thou mightst make way for liberaHtie! 

Since then these three wait on thy throne. 
Ease, Power, and Love; I value prayer so 20 

That were I to leave all but one, 
Wealth, fame, endowments, vertues, all should go; 
I and deare prayer would together dwell. 
And quickly gain, for each inch lost, an ell. 


Introductory : 

Cf. Ferrar, The Printers to the Reader, p. xii. 


Found in W. 

Metre : 

Of seventeen sonnets, eleven — like this — depart 
in the third quatrain from the Shakespearian form. 


The chief and top of his knowledge consists in the 
book of books, the storehouse and magazene of life 
and comfort, the holy Scriptures. There he sucks 
and lives : Country Parson, IIII. The first son- 
net affirms the worth of all parts of Scripture ; 
~ the second, the worth of these in combination. 


2. Hony, Psalm cxix, 103. 

4. Honey used medicinally is detersive and balsamic. 

7. Wish and take= obtain whatever we desire. 

8. Thankfull=TewsiTSng, beneficial. 

10. Indeare=iJiake dear, raise in price. So Shake- 
speare, Sonnet XXXI. 

11. lAdger is Shakespeare's leiger=Si legate or am- 
bassador. Cf. Vaughan's Corruption. 

13. Handsell=&Tst instalment, earnest of something 
more to follow. So Herrick, On Tears : 

" Our present tears here, not our present laughter. 
Are but the handsells of our joys hereafter." 

FZa<= accessible. 



Oh Book! Infinite sweetnesse! Let my heart 
Suck ev'ry letter and a hony gain, , 

Precious for any grief in any part, 

To cleare the breast, to molhfie all pain. 

Thou art all health, health thriving till it make 
A full eternitie. Thou art a masse 6 

Of strange dehghts, where we may wish and 

Ladies, look here. This is the thankful! glasse 

That mends the looker's eyes; this is the well 
That washes what it shows. Who can indeare 
Thy praise too much ? Thou art heaven's Lidger 
here, 11 

Working against the states of death and hell. 
Thou art joyes handsell. Heav'n Hes flat in 

Subject to ev'ry mounter's bended knee. 


Subject : 

All Truth being consonant to it self, an industrious 
and judicious comparing of place with place must 
be a singular help for the right understanding of the 
Scriptures. To this may be added the consideration 
of any text with the coherence thereof, touching what 
goes before and what follows after, as also the scope 
of the Holy Ghost : Country Parson, IIII. 

Notes : 

1-4. To emphasize the theme the prefix con- is used 
three times in the first four lines. 
7. Coleridge suspected an error, and Dr. Willmott 
proposed to read match in the sense of compose. 
But both manuscripts and the edition of 1633 read 
watch. If we retain watch, it must picture the scat- 
tered herbs of the apothecary as eager to be em- 
ployed in our service; so Man, TV, 15, 1. 23. 
9. Makes ^ooc?= verifies. 
10. Comments on i^ee= illustrates thy teaching. 
13. Throughout this poem runs the allegory of The 
Starre, IV, 161, never far from Herbert's mind. 
We have it in 1. 1, 2, 4, 13, 14, probably also in 5, 
8, and 9. The closing lines approach most nearly 
the physical sense, saying that those who consult 
astrology are often misled. Cf. Providence, V, 
87, 1. 77-80. The Bible gives sure guidance. 



Oh that I knew how all thy lights combine, 
And the configurations of their glorie! 
Seeing not onely how each verse doth shine, 

But all the constellations of the storie. 

This verse marks that, and both do make a motion 
Unto a third, that ten leaves off doth lie; 6 
Then as dispersed herbs do watch a potion. 

These three make up some Christian's destinie. 

Such are thy secrets, which my Hfe makes good. 
And comments on thee; for in ev'ry thing 
Thy words do finde me out, and parallels bring. 

And in another make me understood. 12 

Starres are poore books, and oftentimes do misse: 
This book of starres lights to etemall bhsse. 


Date : 

Found in W. 

Metre : 

Of seventeen sonnets, eleven — like this — depart 
in the third quatrain from the Shakespearian form. 

Subject : 

My true nature, brought about by baptism, is vis- 
ible beneath the falsifications of sin. 

Notes : 

6. John xix, 34. Cf. The Sacrifice, III, 147, 1. 246. 
Since baptism received its meaning from the death 
of Christ, its water is identified with that which 
issued from Christ's wounded side. So Whitsun- 
day, III, 159, 1. 18. 

7. Streams. " Baptism is administered to two kinds of 
subjects : for the one, i. e. infants, it is a preventive 
of the filth of sin by the early washing. Some are 
hence early laid hold of and sanctified from the 
womb. For the other, i. e. adults, who are required 
to make a personal profession of repentance, it 
affords tears to drown grown and growing sins:" 
G. Ryley. 

8. Wide, the same use in The Discharge, V, 189, 
1. 34. 

12. Philippians iv, 3; Revelation xiii, 8. 



As he that sees a dark and shadie grove 
Stayes not, but looks beyond it on the skie; 
So when I view my sinnes, mine eyes remove 
More backward still, and to that water flie 
Which is above the heav'ns, whose spring and 
rent 5 

Is in my deare Redeemer's pierced side. 
O blessed streams! Either ye do prevent 
And stop our sinnes from growing thick and wide, 
Or else give tears to drown them as they grow. 
In you Redemption measures all my time. 
And spreads the plaister equall to the crime. 
You taught the book of life my name, that so, 12 
What ever future sinnes should me miscall, 
Your first acquaintance might discredit all. 



Found ill W. 
Metre : 


The worth of littleness, cf . Vaughan's Retreat : 

"Happy those early days when I 
Shined in my angel infancy." 

Notes : 

2. Matthew vii, 14. 

10. Behither= on this side of. So Oley, in the second 
Preface to The Country Parson: "I have not 
observed any one thing (behither vice) that hath 
occasioned so much contempt of the clergie as 
unwillingnesse to take or keep a poor living." Pos- 
sibly here the preposition takes on a verbal force = 
keeping ill at a distance. 

13. Bid nothing = demand, ask nothing for bodily 
profit (Ger. bitten); as in the phrase, "I bid you 
good morning." 

15. " So Chrysostom, *The office of repentance is when 
they have been made new, and then become old 
through sins, to free them from their oldness and 
make them new. But it cannot bring them to their 
former brightness; for then the whole world was 
good:'" R. A. Willmott. Cf. 1 John ii, 13; Vani- 
tie, IV, 153, 1. 15. 

m. THE CHURCH 193 


Since, Lord, to thee 
A narrow way and little gate 
Is all the passage, on my infancie 

Thou didst lay hold and antedate 

My faith in me. 5 

O let me still 
Write thee great God, and me a childe. 
Let me be soft and supple to thy will. 

Small to my self, to others milde, 

Behither ill. 10 

Although by stealth 
My flesh get on, yet let her sister. 
My soul, bid nothing but preserve her wealth. 
The growth of flesh is but a blister; 

Childhood is health. 15 


Introductory : 

The first four stanzas are not in W. The last four 
appear there under the title Prayer. Another 
poem with this title is given, VI, 143. On the 
question of separating the parts, see note on Good 
Friday, III, 150. 


Found in W. 


Unique in both parts. 

Subject : 

Part I. The subtlety of God's approaches. Part II 
The approach of man to God hindered by sin. 


2. Joshua vii, 21. 

3. It might seem that jrom is a misprint for for, but it 
probably is not. It balances to in the next line. 

5. If thou hadst come to me in any form of external 
riches, thou wouldst have remained always exter- 
nal. But cf. Affliction, IV, 135, 1. 7. 

9. Thy way=\he nourishment and strength of 1. 7. 
16, The sacred elements are not in themselves spiritual, 
and cannot be likened to living soldiers, able to 
leap over all barriers straight to the life within. 
Rather are they, being physical, like engines of 
attack, contrived so as by their height to command 
the walls which shelter the garrison. 

22. SwMe= withdrawn, retired. 

23. Those, i. e. the elements which, now spiritualized, 
wait at the boundary between soul and flesh, listen- 
ing for orders from divine grace. 

m. THE CHURCH 195 


Not in rich furniture or fine aray, 
Nor in a wedge of gold, 
Thou, who from me wast sold, 
To me dost now thy self convey; 

For so thou should'st without me still have been, 5 
Leaving within me sinne. 

But by the way of nourishment and strength 
Thou creep'st into my breast, 
Making thy way my rest. 
And thy small quantities my length; 10 

Which spread their forces into every part, 
Meeting sinne' s force and art. 

Yet can these not get over to my soul. 

Leaping the wall that parts 

Our souls and fleshly hearts; 15 

But as th' outworks, they may controU 
My rebel-flesh, and carrying thy name. 

Affright both sinne and shame. 

Onely thy grace, which with these elements comes, 
Knoweth the ready way 20 

And hath the privie key, 
Op'ning the soul's most subtile rooms; 

While those to spirits refin'd at doore attend 
Dispatches from their friend. 


29. Ezekiel xi, 19. 

30. 1 Corinthians v, 7. "He finds his captivated soul 
caught up to the third Heaven, and therefore prays 
either to be restored to the full use of his faculties 
again or to be taken all away, soul and body, 
which he fancies such another lift — i. e. the re- 
doubling of the rapture — might effect:" G. Ryley. 

34. Sin did not know how to smother us. 

40. Their, used as the general pronoun. I can freely 
feed on thy heavenly blood, abandoning earth's 
fruits to whoever will take them. Cf . note on The 
Church Porch, HI, 41, 1. 225. 


Give me my captive soul, or take 25 

My bodie also thither. 
Another lift like this will make 

Them both to be together. 

Before that sinne turn'd flesh to stone, 

And all our lump to leaven, 30 

A fervent sigh might well have blown 
Our innocent earth to heaven. 

For sure when Adam did not know 
To sinne, or sinne to smother. 

He might to heav'n from Paradise go 35 

As from one room t' another. 

Thou hast restor'd us to this ease 

By this thy heav'nly bloud; 
Which I can go to when I please, 

And leave th' earth to their food. 40 


Introductory : 

"He was so great a Lover of Church Musick that he 
usually called it Heaven upon earth, and attended 
it a few days before his death:" Oley's Preface 
to The Country Parson. — "Though he was 
a lover of retiredness, yet his love to Musick was 
such that he went usually twice every week on 
certain appointed days to the Cathedral Church 
in Salisbury, and at his return would say: That 
his time spent in Prayer and Cathedral Musick ele- 
vated his Soul and was his Heaven upon Earth:'' 
Walton's Life. See, too, Herbert's Epigrammata 
Apologetica, xxvi, De Musica Sacra. 


Found in W. 

Metre : 

In Content, IV, 149, and Divinitie, V, 97. 

Subject : 

Music as a refuge. 

Notes : 

3. Thence, i. e. away from physical pain. 
5. See 1. 2. 

8. God help poore Kings, not, as Canon Beeching sup- 
poses, an allusion to the pitiable plight of Charles I, 
but an exclamation of happy persons who find part 
of their bliss in contrasting their condition with that 
of those conventionally reckoned more fortunate. 

9. Comfort, i. e. music. 

10. Much more, i. e. besides dying I shall not know the 
way to heaven. 



Sweetest of sweets, I thank you ! When displea- 
Did through my bodie wound my minde, 
You took me thence, and in your house of plea- 
A daintie lodging me assigned. 

Now I in you without a bodie move, 5 

Rising and falUng with your wings. 

We both together sweetly Kve and love, 

Yet say sometimes, God help poore Kings. 

Comfort, I'le die; for if you poste from me. 

Sure I shall do so, and much more. 10 

But if I travell in your companie. 

You know the way to heaven's doore. 


Introductory : 

In Montgomery Church is the magnificent tomb 
of Herbert's father and mother, erected by Lady 
Herbert herseK. 

Date : 

Found in W. 

Metre : 

Unique, though it differs only in rhyming system 
from The Church-Porch, III, 15; Jordan, III, 
91; An Offering, IV, 189; Sinnes Round, V, 
143. The same rhyming system is used in Marie 
Magdalene, V, 151. 

Subject : 

" At the sight or visit of a Charnel House, every 
Bone, before the day (i. e. the Last Day), rises up in 
judgement against fleshly lust and pride : " Oley's 
Preface to The Country Parson. 

Notes : 

2. Standing before this tomb, my soul uplifts herself 
to God; in the dust here inclosed my body perceives 
what it is made of. 
4. Cf. The Church-Floore, V, 167, 1. 16. 
8. His =iis. Genesis iii, 19. 

9-11. The dusty family shields above the monuments 
suggest that the ancestry of the body can best be 
read in the dust into which all dissolves. 

12. These= dust and earth. — Ieat= jet 

m. THE CHURCH 201 


While that my soul repairs to her devotion, 
Here I intombe my flesh, that it betimes 
May take acquaintance of this heap of dust, 
To which the blast of death's incessant motion. 
Fed with the exhalation of our crimes, 5 

Drives all at last. Therefore I gladly trust 

My bodie to this school, that it may learn 
To spell his elements, and finde his birth 
Written in dustie heraldrie and lines 
Which dissolution sure doth best discern, 10 

Comparing dust with dust, and earth with 
These laugh at leat and Marble put for signes 


14. Thein=jei and marble. "Costly monuments keep 
the dust of the body artificially apart from its nat- 
ural companion, the dust of the earth; but tombs 
will at the last day fall and do homage to the dead. 
Dust is the head of man*s stem or pedigree [so the 
Church Militant, VI, 123, 1. 74]. His life, like 
the sand contained in the hour-glass, is destined 
in its turn to dust:" F. T. Palgrave. 

22. Dust. This is the seventh time the word has been 
used in twenty lines. 


To sever the good fellowship of dust, 

And spoil the meeting. What shall point out 
When they shall bow and kneel and fall down 
flat 15 

To kisse those heaps which now they have in 
Deare flesh, while I do pray, leame here thy 
And true descent; that when thou shalt grow 

And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst know 

That flesh is but the glasse which holds the dust 

That measures all our time; which also shall 

Be crumbled into dust. Mark here below 22 

How tame these ashes are, how free from lust, 

That thou mayst fit thyself against thy fall. 



The Church-Porch (p. 15) : 

2. For Thy rede and 'price W. reads The 'price oj thee. 
Stanzas ii, iii, iv, in W. read as follows: 

Beware of Lust (startle not), beware 

It makes thy sovle a hlott; it is a rodd 

Whose twigs are pleasures, and they whip thee hare. 

It spoils an Angel : robs thee of thy God. 

How dare those eyes upon a bible looke 

Mvxih lesse towards God, whose lust is all their hook ? 

Abstaine or wedd : if thou canst not abstaine 

Yet wedding marrs thy fortune, fast and pray : 

If this seeme monkish ; think which brings most paine^ 

Need or Incontinency ; the first way 

If thou chuse bravely and rely on God, 

Hee'le make thy wife a blessing not a rodd. 

Let not each ^muwn '"^^^ ihee to detest 

A Virgin-bed, which hath a special crovme 

If it concurr wiih vertu£ : doe thy best. 

And God vnll show thee how to take the towne. 

And winn thyself e : Compare the joyes and so 

If rottennes have more, lett Heaven goe. 

29, 30. For these two lines W. has lines 35, 36. 

33. For kinde W. reads kinds. 

35, 36. For these two lines W. reads: 

He that has all ill, and can have no good 
Because no knowledge, is not earth but mudd. 


56. For hath W. reads has. 

57. For avarice W. reads cheating. 
64. For apple B. reads apples. 

81. For take up W. reads he all. 

87. For jawes W. reads chawes. 

88. For employments W. reads employment. 

90. After this line a new stanza appears in W. : 

If thou art nothing, think what thou wovMst bee 
He that desires is more than halfe the way. 
But if thou coole then take some shame to thee 
Desire and shame, will make thy labour, play. 
This is Earth's language, for if Heaven come in. 
Thou hast run all thy race, ere thou beginn. 

91. For this Hne W. reads: 

O England, full of all sinn, most of sloth. 

106. For All that they leave W. reads All that is left. 

110. For trunk W. reads trunks. 

117. For stowre W. and B. read sowre. 

120. For this line W. reads : 

And though hee bee a ship, is his owne shelf. 

125. For fears W. reads fearest. 

128. For Thou hast two sconses W. reads : Tast all, but 

feed not. 
132. For And W. reads But. 
134. For doth W. reads does. 
136. For you W. reads thou. 
143. For lose B. and W. read loose; as also in lines 

194, 201, 202, 297. 


163. Yet in thy thriving, etc. Instead of this verse W. 

Yet in thy pursing still thy sdf distrust 
Least gaining gaine on thee^ and fiU thy hart. 
Which if it cleave to coine, one common rust 
Will canker both, yett thou alone shaUt smart : 
One common waight wiR press downe both, yet so 
As that thyself alone to hell shall goe. 

179. For doth W. reads cloths. 

186. For As W. reads That. 

200. For that W. reads it. 

228. For passeth with the best W. reads is jame^s interest. 

232. For the conceit advance W. reads thou thy mirth 

253. For respective W. reads respect jvll. 
265. For basenesse is W. reads base men are. 
275. For way W. reads art. 
286. For who W. reads that. 
292. For in W. reads at. 
317. For the bow that's there, etc., W. reads: 

thai bow doth hitt 
No more then passion when shee talks of it. 

326. For this line W. reads: 

Need, and bee glad, and wish thy presence still. 

330. For the W. reads that. 

336. For lethargicknesse W. reads a drowsiness. 

347, 348. For those I give for lost, etc., W. reads: 

those I give for gone ; 
They dye in holes where glory never shone. 


348. For 't will B. reads will. 

350. For mightie W. reads the greatest. 

351. For thine W. reads thy. 

352. For gunnes destroy W. reads swords cause death ; 
and for sling, sting. 

367. For this stanza W. reads: 

Leave not thine owne deere cuntry-cleanliness 
For this French slvttery, which so currant goes : 
As if none could bee brave, but who profess 
First to be slovens, and forsake their nose. 
Let thy minds sweetnes have his operation 
Upon thy body, cloths, and habitation. 

384. For both W. reads they. 

391. For the W. reads that. 

395. For th* Almighty W. reads the mighty. 

398. For hath W. reads has. 

407. For stocking W. reads stockings. 

413. For Away thy blessings W. reads Our blessings from 

416. For thine W. reads thy. 
419, 420. For others* symmetric, etc., W. reads: 

Others comliness 
Turns all their beauty to his ugliness. 

421. For or W. reads and. 

426. For are either W. reads either are. 

441. For faults W. reads fault. 

447. For balsames W. reads mercies. 

451. For by W. reads that. 

Two Sonnets (p. 79): 

These sonnets do not appear in W., B., or ed. 1633. 


They are printed by Walton in his Life of Herbert, 
but how he obtained them is unknown. 
Love (p. 83) : 
2. For that W. reads the. 

4. For on W. reads in. 

5. For doth W. reads does. 
25. For goods B. reads good. 

Jordan (p. 87) : 

14. For ryme B. reads time. 
Jordan (p. 91) : called Invention in W. 
1. For lines W. reads verse. 

4. For sprout W. reads spredd. 

6. For Decking W. reads Praising. 

14. For this line W. reads: 

So I bespoke rne much insinuation. 
16. For long pretence W. reads preparation. 
18. For this line W. reads: 

Copy out that; there needs no cdteration. 
Praise (p. 95): 

5. For help me to icings, and /, W. reads make me an 
angel, I. 

7. For mount unto, W. reads steal up to. 
9-12, This stanza stands fourth in W. 

15. For Exalt the poore, etc., W. reads: 

For to a poore 
It may doe more. 

17-20. This stanza W. reads: 

raise me, iJun ; for if a spider may 

Spin all the day ; 
Not flyes, but I, shall be his prey. 

Who doe no more. 


The Quidditie (p. 97) : called Poetry in W. 

3. For No W. reads Nor three times. 

8. For a W. and B. read my. 
The Elixer (p. 99) : 

W. has a double title — Perfection, The Elixir. 

1-4. For these lines W. reads: 

Lord, teach mee to referr 

All things I doe to thee. 
That I not onely may not erre, 

But allso 'pleasing hee. 

5-8. This stanza is wanting in W. 

13. Between this and the following stanza W. inserts 
this stanza, but erases it: 

He that does ought for thee 

Marketh that deed for thine; 
And when the Divel shakes the tree. 

Thou saist, this fruit is mine. 

14. W. reads lowe, but changes to meane. 

16. W. reads to Heaven grow, but changes to grow 
bright and clean. 

19. W. reads ehamber, but changes to roome as. 

20. Before the last stanza W. inserts this : 

But these are high perfections : 

Happy are they that dare 
Lett in the light to all their actions 

And show them as they are. 

But this is then erased. 
Employment (p. 103) : 
14. For sat W. reads sate. 


21. For this fifth stanza W. reads: 

that I had the wing and thigh 

Of laden Bees ; 
Then would I mount up instantly 

And by degrees 
On men dropp blessings as I fly. 

26. For still too W. reads ever. 

29. For So we freeze on W. reads Thus wee creep on. 
Antiphon (p. 107): called Ode in B. 

19. For thy praises should be W. reads thou dost de- 
serve much. 

21. For And we W. reads Wee have. 
The Altar (p. 121): 

15. For blessed W. reads only, but changes it to blessed. 
The Sacrifice (p. 123): 

38. For of truth W. and B. read and truth. 

51. For Priest W. reads priests. 

79. For this Hne W. reads: 

To whose power thunder is but weak and lighty 

which is erased, and the present reading is written 
over it. 

103. Frighting is in B. misprinted fighting. 
119. In W. doth is omitted. 
123. For this line W. reads: 

Bvi not their harts, as I by proof e do try. 

129. For me W. and B. read him, twice. 

130. For grasp W. and B. read grasps. 

130. For my W. and B. read his. 

131. For I W. and B. read he. 


169. For to me before W. reads mee heretofore. 
171. For evermore W. reads to the poore. 
174. For or W. and B. read and. 
177-8. For these lines W. reads: 

Yd since in frailty, cruelty, shrewd turns. 

All scepters. Reeds : Cloths, Scarlet : Crovms are Thorns. 

179. For deeds W. reads scorns. 

181. For that W. reads my. 

182, For Which W. reads Whom. 
187. For this line W. reads: 

With stronger blows strike mee as I come out. 
199. For this line W. reads: 

The gladsome burden of a mortal saint. 
210. For part W. reads share. 
214. For dost delight W. reads art well-pleased. 
217. For this line W. reads: 

My soule is full of shame, my flesh of wound. 

223. For for you, to feel W. reads to feel for you. 
226. For ye W. reads you. 
Good Friday (p. 149): 

21, 22. W. reads: 

Since nothing. Lord, can bee so good 
To write thy sorrows in as blood. 

22. For fight B. reads sight. 

27. For sinne W. reads he. 

29. For this stanza W. reads: 

Sinn being gone, 0, doe thou fill 
The Place, and keep possession still : 
For by the writings all may see 
Thou hast an ancient claime to mee. 


Easter (p. 153): 
20. For ojf B. reads o/. 

19. Another version of the last three verses appears 
in W.: 

I had prepared many a flowre 
To strow thy way and vidorie ; 
Bid thou wast up, before myne houre 
Bringinge thy sweets along with thee. 

The Sunn arising in the East, 
Though hee bring light and tK other sents 
Can not make up so brave a jeast 
As thy discoverie presents. 

Yet though my f,owrs be lost, they say 
A hart can never come too late ; 
Teach it to sing thy praise this day. 
And then this day my life shall date. 

Whitsunday (p. 157): 

1. For Listen, etc., W. reads: 

Come blessed Dove, charmed with my song. 
Display thy, &c. 

4. For it W. reads I. 

4. For and W. reads to. 

8. For this Hne W. reads: 

With Livery-graces furnishing thy men. 

27. Instead of the last four stanzas W. has these three : 

Bui wee are falne from Heaven to Earth, 
And if wee can stay there, ifs well. 
He that first fell from his great birth 
Without thy help, leads us his way to Hell. 


Lord, once more shake the Heaven and Earth, 
Least want of Graces seem thy thrift ; 
For sinn would faine remove the dearth. 
And lay it on thy husbandry for shift. 

Show that thy hrests cannot he dry. 

But that from them joyes jmrle forever. 

Melt into blessings all the sky. 

So wee may cease to suck; to praise thee, never. 

Trinitie-Sunday (p. 161) : 

1. W. has two forms, the second erased: 

Lord, who has raised me from the mudd, 

made me living mudd. 

To All Angels and Saints (p. 163): 

11. For holy W. reads sacred. 

16. For our W. reads my. 
. 20. For a W. reads your. 

22. For rich W. reads great. 

25. For posie W. reads garland, which is erased and 
posie is written over. 
Christmas (p. 167) : 

1. For as I rid one W. reads riding on a. 

13-14. For these two lines W. reads: 

Furnish my soule to thee, that being drest. 
Of better lodging thou maist be possest. 

15-34. This Song is wanting in W. 
Lent (p. 171) : 

3. For composed W. reads a child. 
29. For the W. reads our. 


37. For the B. reads that; W. has the way that. 

39. For hy-wayes W. reads cross-ways, erased. 

45. For our faults W. reads all vice. 
Sunday (p. 175) : 
1-7. For this first stanza W. reads : 

day so calme, so bright : 
The couch of iyme, the holme of teares. 
The indorsment of supreme delight, 
The parter of my wrangling feares. 
Setting in order what they tumble : 
The week were dark, hut that thy light 

Teaches it rwt to stumhle. 

23. For palace arched lies W. has kingdome arch*d doth 

25. For with vanities W. reads on either hand. 
26-28. For these three lines W. reads: 

They are the rowes of fruitful trees 
Parted with alleys or with grass 
In God^s rich Paradise. 

31. For to adorn the W. reads for the spouse and. 

32. For elemall glorious W. reads Immortall onely. 
Prayer (p. 181): 

5. For sinner's towre W. reads. ^'rin^'^ fort. 
7. For this line W. reads: 

Transposer of the world, wonder^s resort. 

Prayer (p. 183) : 

2. For this line W. reads: 

Art thou, my blessed King / 

3. For eare W. reads eares. 

10. For meoMir^d W. reads silly. 


The H. Scriptures, I (p. 187) : 

4. For mollifie all W. reads suple outward. 
11. For too much W. reads enough. 

The H. Scriptures, II (p. 189) : 
4. For the second the B. reads thy. 

10. For And comments on thee W. reads And more 
then fancy. 

13. For 'poore B. reads foores. 

14. For lights to W. reads can s'pell. 
H. Baptisme (p. 191) : 

In W. this sonnet appears as follows: 

When backward on my sins I turne mine eyes. 
And then beyond them all my Baptisme view, 
As he that Heaven beyond much thicket spyes : 

I pass the shades and fixe upon the true 

Waters above the Heavens ; sweet streams. 
You doe prevent most sins, and for the rest 
You give us teares to wash them ; lett those beams. 

Which then joined with you, still meet in my brest. 

And mend, as rising starrs and rivers doe. 
In you Redemption measures all my tyme, 
Spredding the plaister equal to the cryme. 

You taught the book of life my ruime, that so 
Whatever future sinus should mee miscall. 
Your first acquaintance might discreditt all. 

H. Baptisme (p. 193) : 

11. For Although W. reads Though that. 
13. For preserve her W. reads keep her first. 

The H. Communion (p. 195) : 
3. For from B. reads for. 

15. For fleshly B. reads fleshy. 
27. For lift B. reads life. 


37-40. For this stanza W. reads : 

But wee are strangers grown, Lord, 

Lett Prayer help our Losses : 
Since thou hast taught us by thy word 
That wee may gaine by crosses. 

Church-Musick (p. 199): 
9. For poste W. reads part. 
9-12. For this stanza W. reads: 

what a state is this which never knew 
Sicknes, or shame, or sinn or sorrow ; 

Where all my debts are payd, none can accrue. 
Which knoweth not what means too morrow. 

Church-Monuments (p. 201) : 

22. For crumbled W. reads broken. 

W >!■